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 NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

nachricht How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | 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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>