Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fighting septic shock

14.08.2006
A potential new treatment for septic shock and other inflammatory diseases has been discovered by Monash Institute researchers.

There are 18 million cases of septic shock each year, causing 500,000 deaths. But there is no effective treatment to this overloading of the body’s immune response.

“Our treatment in mice demonstrated a beneficial effect and has been patented. Now we need a commercial partner to further develop the concept,” says Kristian Jones, a post-doctoral fellow at the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia and one of this year's Fresh Scientists.

Kristian is one of sixteen young researchers selected from across Australia in the national competition Fresh Science. One of the Fresh Scientists will win a study tour to the UK courtesy of the British Council and have the opportunity to present their work at the Royal Institution.

“Interestingly, Monash researchers including David de Kretser AC (now Governor of Victoria), discovered follistatin in 1990. But it was thought that it was just a reproductive protein.”

“We’ve now discovered that follistatin also plays an important role in controlling inflammation,” says Jones.

Septic shock is caused by the spread of an infection to the whole body forcing the body’s normal inflammatory response to go into overdrive.

"A few years ago we found that another protein, activin, is produced by the body in response to inflammation," says Jones. "It is thought to help stimulate inflammation. In mice we found that follistatin was also being released and was binding to activin and neutralising it. When we gave the mice more follistatin it increased their chance of surviving sepsis."

"We believe that the follistatin moderated the activin and dampened the inflammatory response," says Jones.

Septic shock is the leading cause of mortality after heart disease in intensive care units, costing billions of dollars in healthcare costs every year. These findings raise hopes of using follistatin to save lives.

The human body is under a persistent threat from infections but it has adapted to deal with this threat. Normally the body uses its defence or immune system together with inflammation to control infection.

Sometimes an infection escapes the defence system and quickly spreads to a number of organs and the blood stream resulting in septic shock. This is now a very serious infection and the body needs to react strongly to control it. Sometimes the body quickly over-reacts, throwing its all at the infection, and damaging itself.

It is this uncontrolled inflammatory response in septic shock that can lead to vital organs being damaged and in many cases death.

"As well as looking for commercial partners, we are further exploring how follistatin interacts with activin," says Jones. "We’ve already found that patients with sepsis also have high levels of activin and follistatin. If follistatin’s role in managing inflammation is confirmed, it could assist with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and other inflammatory diseases."

Niall Byrne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.scienceinpublic.com/sciencenow/2006/kristian.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin
24.01.2017 | Carlos III University of Madrid

nachricht Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

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: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>