Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U Iowa study identifies damaging mechanism in transplants and heart attacks

02.03.2004


A University of Iowa study suggests that inhibiting a certain protein involved in inflammation might be of therapeutic benefit in organ transplantation, heart attacks and possibly stroke. The study, led by John Engelhardt, Ph.D., UI professor and interim head of anatomy and cell biology, found that blocking the action of this protein can prevent the tissue damage caused by ischemia/reperfusion injury. The study is published in the March 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


John F. Engelhardt, Ph.D.



Ischemia/reperfusion injury is a common, damaging component of organ transplantation, heart attack, and stroke and is a determinant of organ failure in all cases. In this type of injury, the organ is initially deprived of oxygen-carrying blood (ischemia). During reperfusion (the re-establishment of blood supply), toxins are briefly generated from the oxygen that lead to tissue damage and trigger a potentially detrimental inflammatory response.

Although inflammation is an important bodily response to environmental injuries including bacterial and viral infection as well as ischemia/reperfusion injury, too much inflammation can damage healthy tissue and cause problems.


"In this study we looked at a well-known ’master switch’ type of protein called NF-kB that controls the expression of genes that regulate inflammatory responses," said Engelhardt, who also is professor of internal medicine in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and director of the UI Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis and Other Genetic Diseases.

Engelhardt and his colleagues, including graduate student and lead author of the study, Chenguang Fan, compared the activation of NF-kB in response to bacterial infection and ischemia/ reperfusion injury. Historically, these two types of injury were thought to produce inflammation via the same cellular pathway. However, the UI researchers found that there are two distinct pathways for the two different types of injury.

"Important health implications have emerged from these studies, which may aid us in treating environmental injuries that have both ischemic and inflammatory components. We can now selectively remove, like a molecular surgeon, activation of one or both of these pathways using gene therapy approaches," Engelhardt said. "We found that selective inhibition of the pathway triggered by ischemia/reperfusion injury was better for the organ and better for the animal."

Activation of NF-kB is tightly controlled by so-called inhibitory proteins. Two of these inhibitory proteins, IkB alpha and IkB beta, keep NF-kB in an inactive state. However, injury leads to modification of the inhibitory proteins, causing them to release NF-kB. The activated master switch protein can then regulate expression of genes that mount a response to the injury.

The UI team used gene manipulation to replace IkB alpha with IkB beta in mice. Mice with only IkB beta protein respond to bacterial infection in the same way that normal mice do. However, these mice sustain less liver damage and were more likely to survive ischemic/reperfusion injury to that organ than mice with both inhibitory proteins.

The study found that the two inhibitory proteins function similarly in response to bacterial infection, but have different abilities to activate NF-kB after ischemia/reperfusion injury. Furthermore, the results suggest that inhibiting the IkB alpha pathway could prevent ischemic/reperfusion injury to transplanted organs and therefore improve the success of this procedure.

Similarly, Engelhardt speculated that blocking this pathway in patients at risk of a heart attack - a patient undergoing angioplasty, for example – potentially could benefit those patients in the event of a heart attack.

In addition to the animal experiments, the UI team also used gene therapy to manipulate the activation of NF-kB. These experiments helped reveal the different molecular pathways that activate NF-kB as a result of different types of injury.

"Gene therapy was a tool we used to address the mechanism of the disease process. But once you understand the process, those gene therapy tools become potential therapeutic tools," Engelhardt added. "This research has led to a better understanding of the disease process that occurs following ischemic/ reperfusion injury and a better understanding will allow us to potentially prevent or treat ischemic organ injury disorders."

In addition to Engelhardt and Fan, the research team also included Qiang Li, Yulong Zhang, Xiaoming Liu, D.V.M., Ph.D., Meihui Luo, Duane Abbott and Weihong Zhou, M.D. The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT(S): Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917, jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: A photo of Dr. Engelhardt is available at http://www.anatomy.uiowa.edu/pages/directory/faculty/engelhardt.html

Jennifer Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu/
http://www.anatomy.uiowa.edu/pages/directory/faculty/engelhardt.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

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: 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...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

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

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>