The inflammatory myopathies comprise three different entities: polymyositis, inclusion body myositis and dermatomyositis. People in all age groups can be affected by major muscle weakness and pain, and show evidence of muscle fiber breakdown in the serum. Autoimmune pathogenetic mechanisms have been identified in each inflammatory myopathy, but the antigen(s) recognized by the autoreactive inflammatory cells and the factors eliciting the aberrant immune responses remain unknown. Currently, patients are treated with corticosteroids with variable success rates and at a high cost of side-effects.
The ongoing research is aimed at identifying the factors that guide the trafficking of inflammatory cells from the blood to the inflamed muscle tissue. A new study reports the differential expression of chemokines and their receptors in each inflammatory myopathy. Chemokines represent a family of small-molecular weight cytokines that have an important role in the migration of distinct leukocyte subsets to the sites of inflammation. The chemokines monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and stromal derived factor (SDF-1a and SDF-1b) and their receptors are strongly expressed whereas a number of others are undetectable.
Blocking the autoimmune cascade by targeting chemokines or chemokine receptors has given excellent results in animal models of other immune diseases. The present work identifies the candidates for selective immune intervention in patients suffering autoimmune inflammatory myopathies and may well lead to more selective treatment modalities with less side-effects than the currently available drugs.
Jan DE BLEECKER | alfa
Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy