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 New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>