Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, is an often fatal complication of severe traumatic injury, bacterial infections, blood transfusions and overdoses of some medications. In ARDS, the lungs become swollen with fluid and breathing becomes impossible. Thirty percent to 40 percent of patients die. There is no effective treatment.
Sepsis, an overwhelming bacterial infection of the blood and organs, is the most common cause of ARDS. When the immune system responds to the infection, molecules called inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are released. These molecules attract inflammatory white blood cells and destroy bacteria, but also lead to fever, swelling and other symptoms of shock and can wreak havoc on the patient in the course of fighting off the infection.
"Without an inflammatory response, bacterial invaders in the lungs can kill, but too intense a response can also be fatal," said Kurt Bachmaier, UIC research assistant professor in pharmacology and first author of the study. "We need a better understanding of how the immune system modulates this defense so that we can understand what goes wrong in life-threatening lung failure."
The researchers created a mouse model that lacks the gene for a protein, called Cblb, which was known to play a crucial role in chronic inflammation and auto-immunity through regulation of T- and B-cells.
When sepsis was induced in mice with and without the Cblb gene, there was a marked difference in the level of the inflammatory response and survival. Mice lacking the Cblb gene were much less likely to survive than control mice.
The UIC researchers were able to show how Cblb regulates the immune response. They showed that in normal mice, a receptor found in lung tissue that induces the release of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines disappears from the cell surface after about an hour, ending the signaling of the immune response.
In the Cblb-deficient mice the receptor stays on the surface, and the inflammatory response is not turned off.
The researchers were also able to show that a protein that controls the production of inflammatory cytokines, called NF-kB, is induced in lung tissue after sepsis by that receptor to a much greater extent from the Cblb-deficient mice than in normal mice. NF-kB is known to induce swelling of tissues.
"There are already early-stage drug trials of treatments for ARDS targeting NF-kB," said Bachmaier. "This discovery has real clinical implications in the treatment and prevention of life-threatening lung failure."
Cblb is a potential drug target that may lead to a new class of anti-bacterial drugs, says Dr. Asrar Malik, distinguished professor and head of pharmacology and a senior author on the paper. Malik and Bachmaier have recently filed a patent on the basis of these findings.
Jeanne Galatzer-Levy | EurekAlert!
Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy