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 'Icebreaker' protein opens genome for t cell development, Penn researchers find
21.02.2018 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Similarities found in cancer initiation in kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas
21.02.2018 | Washington University 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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>