Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Offers Clues to Origins of Autoimmune Diseases

04.10.2005


Researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center have discovered a mechanism in the body that could lead to autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes. The research team, led by John Cambier, Ph.D., found that potentially harmful B cells circulating in the body are not permanently silenced as previously thought; they can awaken and regain the ability to launch an attack against the body’s own tissue. The findings were published online October 2 by Nature Immunology.



"Keeping self-reactive B cells in a quiescent state is crucial for the prevention of autoimmunity," said Dr. Cambier, Professor and Chairman of the Integrated Department of Immunology at National Jewish and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "Our findings show how these cells can be reactivated and suggest lines of research that may lead to therapies for autoimmune diseases."

B cells are part of the immune system. When properly stimulated, they produce antibodies, which bind to foreign molecules and neutralize them or target the cells they are part of for destruction. The body, in its attempt to protect against any foreign invader, produces a huge variety of B cells, each capable of recognizing a different molecule, also called an antigen.


However, in the course of generating such a variety of B cells, the immune system also produces ones that recognize normal components of the body as antigens. Were those cells to become activated, they would initiate an attack against the body’s own tissue. Fortunately, these cells are sent into a sort of suspended animation, known as anergy, when they encounter the antigen but fail to receive additional signals necessary to activate their antibody-producing machinery.

For years, scientists have thought that one encounter with an antigen would send a B cell into permanent anergy. Dr. Cambier and his colleagues showed, however, that self-reactive B cells need constant stimulation by their antigen to remain anergic, and that removing the antigen allows them to regain their normal, ready state.

The researchers suggest that an active infection could draw a self-reactive B cell to a lymphoid organ, such as the tonsils or a lymph node, where there may be no antigen to silence it. There, a robust immune/inflammatory response to the bacterial infection could activate this dangerous B cell and cause it to trigger an autoimmune disease.

"There have been reports linking the onset of autoimmunity with a preceding bacterial infection," said Stephen Gauld, Ph.D., lead author and post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Cambier’s lab. "We are now conducting experiments to determine the role of pro-inflammatory or bacterial products in the loss of B-cell anergy. We are also seeking to better understand the intracellular events that lead to anergy and its loss. Either of these lines of research could uncover potential targets for autoimmune therapy."

William Allstetter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.njc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht When a fish becomes fluid
17.12.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When a fish becomes fluid

17.12.2018 | Studies and Analyses

Progress in Super-Resolution Microscopy

17.12.2018 | Life Sciences

How electric heating could save CO2 emissions

17.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>