Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists discover pain receptor on T-cells

06.10.2014

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that T-cells – a type of white blood cell that learns to recognize and attack microbial pathogens – are activated by a pain receptor.

The study, reported online Oct. 5 in Nature Immunology, shows that the receptor helps regulate intestinal inflammation in mice and that its activity can be manipulated, offering a potential new target for treating certain autoimmune disorders, such as Crohn's disease and possibly multiple sclerosis.


An inflammatory response and damage to the intenstinal wall (left) could be prevented by injecting TRPV1-deficient T-cells (right).

Credit: Nature Immunulogy, Bertin et al.

"We have a new way to regulate T-cell activation and potentially better control immune-mediated diseases," said senior author Eyal Raz, MD, professor of medicine.

The receptor, called a TRPV1 channel, has a well-recognized role on nerve cells that help regulate body temperature and alert the brain to heat and pain. It is also sometimes called the capsaicin receptor because of its role in producing the sensation of heat from chili peppers.

The study is the first to show that these channels are also present on T-cells, where they are involved in gating the influx of calcium ions into cells – a process that is required for T-cell activation.

"Our study breaks current dogma in which certain ion channels called CRAC are the only players involved in calcium entry required for T-cell function," said lead author Samuel Bertin, a postdoctoral researcher in the Raz laboratory. "Understanding the physical structures that enable calcium influx is critical to understanding the body's immune response."

T-cells are targeted by the HIV virus and their destruction is why people with AIDS have compromised immune function. Certain vaccines also exploit T-cells by harnessing their ability to recognize antigens and trigger the production of antibodies, conferring disease resistance. Allergies, in contrast, may occur when T-cells recognize harmless substances as pathogenic.

TRPV1 channels appear to offer a way to manipulate T-cell response as needed for health. Specifically, in in vitro experiments researchers showed that T-cell inflammatory response could be reduced by knocking down the gene that encodes for the protein that comprises the TRPV1 channel. Overexpression of this gene was shown to lead to a surge in T-cell activation, which in human health may contribute to autoimmune diseases. T-cells also responded to pharmaceutical agents that block or activate the TRPV1 channel.

In experiments with mice models, researchers were able to reduce colitis with a TRPV1-blocker, initially developed as a new painkiller. One of the promising discoveries is that colitis in mice could be treated with much lower doses than what is needed to dull pain. "This suggests we could potentially treat some autoimmune diseases with doses that would not affect people's protective pain response," Raz said.

###

Co-authors include Petrus Rudolf de Jong, Jihyung Lee, Keith To, Lior Abramson, Timothy Yu, Tiffany Han, Ranim Touma, Xiangli Li, José M. González-Navajas, Scott Herdman, Maripat Corr, Hui Dong, and Alessandra Franco, UC San Diego; Yukari Aoki-Nonaka, UC San Diego and Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Japan; Lilian L. Nohara, Hongjian Xu, Shawna R. Stanwood and Wilfred A. Jefferies, University of British Columbia; Sonal Srikanth and Yousang Gwack, UCLA; and Guo Fu, The Scripps Research Institute.

This study was funded, in part, by National Institutes of Health (U01 AI095623, P01 DK35108 and P30 NS047101), The Broad Foundation, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Fulbright Association, Philippe Foundation Inc. and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Scott LaFee | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: T-cell T-cell activation TRPV1 autoimmune autoimmune diseases diseases experiments heat pain receptor

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>