Correcting the defect “may represent an effective therapeutic approach to systemic lupus erythematosus-like autoimmune disease,” the researchers state in their research paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The research team was led by Harvey Cantor, M.D., chair of the department of cancer immunology and AIDS at Dana-Farber, in collaboration with the laboratory of Jackson Professor Derry Roopenian, Ph.D.
Autoimmune diseases develop when the immune system, which is supposed to identify and vanquish potentially dangerous infectious agents, instead attacks the individual's own body. Most autoimmune diseases strike specific organs, such as the pancreas in type 1 diabetes. Lupus, however, is a systemic disease in which abnormal antibodies are produced throughout the body, inflaming a variety of tissues and organs, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys and brain.
Follicular T helper (TFH) cells fuel B cells to produce antibodies, which can be useful in fighting infections. But in lupus, TFH fuel B cells that produce dangerous antibodies that attack normal tissues (autoantibodies). CD8+ T cells (“killer T cells”), on the other hand, normally attack and destroy only infected cells. Cantor and colleagues discovered that a small, but critically important, population of CD8+ T cells (less than 5 percent), plays a specialized role in protecting from lupus. These so-called CD8+ T regulatory, or Treg, cells are specially equipped to destoy TFH cells, and by doing so, prevent lupus from developing.
Using a mouse model for systemic lupus erythematosus in humans that was originally discovered at 30 years ago by Edwin Murphy at The Jackson Laboratory, the Dana-Farber researchers, working with Roopenian’s laboratory, found defects in CD8+ Treg activity.
The new paper, Roopenian explains, is the first to demonstrate the potential breakdown of this suppression mechanism in lupus. “Overcoming this defect,” he says, “offers a potential approach prevent lupus.”
The Jackson Laboratory is a nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human diseases, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.
Kim et al.: Surface phenotype and function of CD8+ T regulatory cells: Defective Ly49+ CD8+ T regulatory cell activity is a hallmark of B6-Yaa autoimmunity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi/10.1073/pnas.1018974108Contact(s):
Joyce Peterson | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering