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 Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction

19.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Integrated lab-on-a-chip uses smartphone to quickly detect multiple pathogens

19.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming

19.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>