Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Together they make you ill

24.07.2009
There are still gaps in our knowledge about the origin and course of complex diseases like multiple sclerosis. Now, researchers of the University of Würzburg have studied the interaction between two important factors - with a clear result.

Chronic inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) generally have a grave impact on the quality of life of the people concerned.

Although past research has already made great progress in this area, the triggers and causes of this disease group, which also includes multiple sclerosis, have not been clearly identified yet. Among the suspects, two factors stand out: An increased susceptibility of the central nervous system to external attacks and a malfunctioning immune system.

Damage to nerve cells and a defective immune system

Previously, it was not fully understood to what extent these two factors influence each other. Now, researchers of the University of Würzburg have succeeded in shedding some light on this question. The lead researchers of this study were the medical scientist Heinz Wiendl, head of the clinical research group for multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology, and the neurobiologist Rudolf Martini, head of the Würzburg study group for developmental neurobiology, at the Department of Neurology of the University of Würzburg. They have now published the result of their research in the American Journal of Pathology.

The researchers had to consider three variables in their study: Mice suffering from a disease that is similar to multiple sclerosis; genetic modifications causing damage to the myelin sheath of the nerve cells - which is a kind of insulation layer; and an immune system that does not work properly. "The question was how a predetermined genetic modification of the myelin - in combination with or without the dysregulation of the immune system - would affect the inflammation of the central nervous system," explains Heinz Wiendl.

One factor alone is not sufficient

The result: If both factors - myelin damage and defective immune system - are present, the inflammatory response in the area of the central nervous system intensifies, leading to increased tissue damage. In contrast, dysfunctional immune cells by themselves do not cause any damage. "If these two genetic modifications come together in mice suffering from an experimental CNS inflammation, this causes an earlier onset and aggravated course of the disease," says Heinz Wiendl. The scientists were able to show that in these cases an increased quantity of immune cells penetrates into the CNS, where they release pro-inflammatory mediators. At the same time, the indicators of nerve cell damage were most clearly visible here.

Significance to humans

Translated to humans, this means: "Genetically determined modifications of the myelin formation or genetically determined dysregulations of the immune system as separate factors do not necessarily cause a disease manifestation," explains Heinz Wiendl. But if these two factors come together and an inflammatory response is directed against the CNS on this basis, the inflammation progresses more violently with significantly more tissue damage than it would without these "predisposing" factors. According to the two scientists, it can be concluded from these findings that a combination of various disease-promoting aspects influences the onset of the disease or the intensity of relapses in the case of multiple sclerosis as well.

Accelerated Course of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in PD-1-Deficient Central Nervous System Myelin Mutants. Antje Kroner, Nicholas Schwab, Chi Wang Ip, Sonja Ortler, Kerstin Göbel,Klaus-Armin Nave,Mathias Mäurer,Rudolf Martini and Heinz Wiendl. The American Journal of Pathology, Vol. 174, No. 6, June 2009, DOI: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.081012

Contact information:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Wiendl,
tel.: +49 (0)931 201-23755,
e-mail: heinz.wiendl@klinik.uni-wuerzburg.de

Gunnar Bartsch | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>