They have discovered an amino acid, called arginine, is required to let the body know that it's being attacked by an infection.
It is still early in their work but this discovery could have implications for the millions of people in third world countries that do not get enough food and consequently become ill with infection.
It may also be the mechanism involved in chronic inflammation, like arthritis because if you have too much arginine it may cause the body to be in a constant state of thinking it is being attacked.
In a healthy person, macrophages are the first cells to arrive at the site of infection. They eat the infected cells and present a molecule that is recognized by the immune system on the surface of the infected cell which attracts more immune fighting cells to the area. According to Lamb it is known that arginine is essential for the function of macrophages but until now no one realized that arginine has a much bigger role.
In their most recent work, Lamb and Mieulet presented arginine to a laboratory model. These models were better able to fight infection even if they were malnourished.
"This is a major work," said Lamb. "If this holds true in humans it shows that one aspect of nutrition that is critical is the level of amino acids."
The study, which is published in the August edition of journal Science Signalling, has taken the research group from the University of Alberta three years.
Quinn Phillips | EurekAlert!
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy