Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The road to allergy

18.11.2004


A UK scientist has discovered the route and type of transport taken by peanut proteins through the gut to the immune system. This route favours an immune response, which helps explain why peanuts are one of the most allergenic foods.


Immunofluorescent staining to show a protein body (red) within an M-cell (green).



Dr Claudio Nicoletti from the Institute of Food Research, said: “Food allergy is an immune system over-reaction to a food protein. The cause of this over-reaction has remained a mystery. Our aim was to identify the route that proteins from digested peanuts take to the lymphoid tissue of the gut where immune responses start”.

Firstly, using a digestion model, the research team found that digestion through the stomach and small intestine produces large amounts of soluble protein and intact protein bodies – large particle-like structures. Secondly, by labelling them with gold, Dr Nicoletti found that peanut proteins are delivered at high speed through the gut via M-cells.


M-cells are effective at rapidly delivering foreign bodies, including proteins, to defence cells. Protein bodies hitching a ride with M-cells are therefore likely to trigger defence cells into action. “Peanut proteins are delivered quickly, in large amounts and in highly immunogenic form to immune cells”, said Dr Nicoletti. “This may be important in explaining strong allergic reactions to peanuts”.

Peanuts frequently cause severe reactions, including potentially lethal anaphylaxis. Peanut allergy can be so severe that only very tiny amounts can be enough to trigger a response.

The neighbouring cells to M-cells are enterocytes. Proteins delivered via these cells are processed to form peptides, and when presented to the immune system are likely to induce tolerance. “This research shows that antigens have the ability to dictate the route of transport, and in doing so the type of immune response that follows”, said Dr Nicoletti.

This work was supported by a Strategic Grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK (to C.N.), and intramural funds of University of Siena, Italy (to E.B.).

The research will be published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications in December and is available online through Science Direct: www.sciencedirect.com Six months ago Dr Nicoletti published research on a later stage in the allergic process, involving dendritic cells: http://www.ifr.bbsrc.ac.uk/Science/ScienceBriefs/careless.html

Zoe Dunford | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk
http://www.ifr.bbsrc.ac.uk/Science/ScienceBriefs/careless.html
http://www.ifr.ac.uk/Media/NewsReleases/allergyroad.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
24.11.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

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: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>