Experimental work pointing to a therapy for alleviating mucositis -- a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients or patients prepared for bone marrow transplantation – has been achieved by an international team of researchers from the US and Israel headed by scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Prof. Yinon Ben-Neriah (left) and Naama Kanarek
Mucositis is a strong inflammatory reaction of the mucosal lining of the digestive system, particularly the gut. Mucositis is often a major reason for premature suspension of anti-cancer therapy. As of today, there has been no effective means of preventing mucositis or its treatment.
The research group at the Hebrew University specializes in genetic engineering of mouse models (GEMMs) of inflammation and cancer. Naama Kanarek, a doctoral student at the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research and the Institute for Medical Research Israel–Canada at the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine, constructed a mouse model designed to study the effect of deleting a gene encoding the enzyme beta-TrCP.
This enzyme was discovered in the laboratory of Hebrew University Prof. Yinon Ben-Neriah 15 years ago, in collaboration with the Israeli Nobel Laureate Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, as a major regulator of inflammatory cascades.
Kanarek found that beta-TrCP deletion in the gut causes mucosal DNA damage, mimicking the effect of chemotherapy and irradiation. Similarly to human patients, she showed that a severe mucositis reaction occurred in mice who were genetically engineered to be beta-TrCP-deficient.
Tracing the pathological basis of the mouse mucositis revealed that the source of the problem was Interleukin-1 (IL-1 beta), a protein secreted by the stressed mucosa. IL-1 beta was found to abnormally open the gut lining, allowing gut bacteria to penetrate and destroy the gut interior. Most importantly was Kanarek’s observation that treating the mice with an antibody which blocks IL-1 beta prevents the onset of mucositis in the beta-TrCP-deficient mice.
Based on these findings, the researchers proposed that IL-1b beta blocking reagents, like Anakinra (Kineret), which is used for treating certain chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, should be tried for preventing mucositis in humans.
The work of the researchers was published recently in the American journal PNAS.
(A higher resolution version of this photo is available via e-mail upon request)
CONTACT:Jerry Barach, Hebrew University Foreign Press Liaison
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
Exploring a new frontier of cyber-physical systems: The human body
18.05.2015 | National Science Foundation
Soft-tissue engineering for hard-working cartilage
18.05.2015 | Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...
Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services
To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...
The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...
On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.
RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.
To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...
20.05.2015 | Event News
18.05.2015 | Event News
12.05.2015 | Event News
26.05.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
26.05.2015 | Life Sciences
26.05.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering