Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maintaining restraint in the face of danger

02.04.2012
A central regulator of the inflammatory response shows signs as an appealing target for therapies against autoimmune disease
Some bacterial infections trigger the formation of structures known as granulomas, which essentially quarantine compromised cells. “Infected macrophages get surrounded by other immune cells, such as T cells and neutrophils,” explains Takashi Tanaka of the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology in Yokohama. “This serves to wall off pathogens that resist destruction and limits their infection within a restricted area.”

This response is generally beneficial but can lead to a harmful overreaction, especially in patients with autoimmune conditions, where the inflammatory response is not properly regulated. In collaboration with Tadashi Matsuda of Hokkaido University, Tanaka’s group has now revealed a key regulatory checkpoint in the granuloma formation process, which might ultimately inform the development of more effective immunomodulatory drugs.

Historically, a subset of the immune system’s helper T cells, called TH1 cells, has been associated with autoimmunity. Previous research by Tanaka demonstrated that a protein called PDLIM2 helps restrict production of these cells. More recently, other researchers identified a population of helper T cells called TH17 cells that also contribute to this process, although their role was unclear, so Tanaka sought to determine whether PDLIM2 regulates these cells as well.

His team found that mice lacking the gene encoding PDLIM2 formed many more granulomas in response to infection with Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, and that this process was dependent on the action of TH17 cells. In fact, the researchers showed that PDLIM2 directly inhibits the differentiation of CD4+ T cells into TH17 cells, as was previously demonstrated with TH1 development. This protein works by marking other proteins for rapid degradation. Tanaka and colleagues learned that PDLIM2 specifically promotes the destruction of STAT3, a signaling protein that switches on genes responsible for TH17 development. Without PDLIM2 constraining the formation of these pro-inflammatory cells, the immune response has the potential to spiral out of control.

This protein therefore appears to be a key safeguard against autoimmunity. “Recent studies suggest that TH1 and TH17 cell subsets are not mutually exclusive, but cooperatively induce inflammatory responses,” says Tanaka. “Our work demonstrates that PDLIM2 can negatively regulate the development of both cells, and thus represents a useful new target for the treatment of human autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.” Tanaka and colleagues now hope to better understand this protein’s function by clarifying the regulatory factors that act upstream and downstream of PDLIM2, and by clarifying how this system influences other inflammatory processes, such as those observed in cases of asthma or during wound healing.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Research Unit for Inflammatory Regulation, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>