Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Atopic dermatitis: elevated salt concentrations in affected skin

21.02.2019

Salt apparently affects allergic immune reactions. A team working with Prof. Christina Zielinski at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has demonstrated in cell cultures that salt leads to the formation of Th2 cells. These immune cells are active in allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis. The team also detected elevated salt concentrations in the skin of patients.

In industrial countries, nearly one in three people are affected by allergies at some point in their lives. One in ten children suffer from atopic dermatitis. T-cells play an important role in immune conditions of this kind.


Prof. Christina Zielinski

Andreas Heddergott / TUM

They are a vital aspect of the body's resistance to infections, but, if uncontrolled, can also develop pathological responses and start attacking parts of our bodies or innocuous substances such as allergens.

When such functions occur, Th2 cells, a subgroup of T cells, can cause inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. This involves increased production of the proteins interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interleukin 13 (IL-13). It is still unknown what triggers the signalling malfunction.

More Th2 cells under the influence of sodium ions

Table salt, known scientifically as sodium chloride, is essential to the health of humans and animals. In the body it occurs in the form of sodium and chlorine ions. In a recent study, Christina Zielinski, a DZIF-professor at TUM's Institute of Virology, and her team were able to demonstrate that sodium chloride can induce a state in human T cells that causes them to produce increased amounts of the proteins IL-4 and IL-13.

Types of T-cells, which should not cause allergies, can, in the presence of salt, turn into Th2 cells. The changes are reversed when the T cell is again exposed to lower salt levels. "Consequently, ionic signals do play a role in the generation and control of Th2 cells," says Christina Zielinski.

Highly elevated salt levels in the skin of patients suffering from atopic dermatitis

As a medical specialist in the field of dermatology, Zielinski is naturally interested in atopic dermatitis. Her team investigated whether the affected skin regions of atopic dermatitis patients exhibit elevated sodium levels.” Measuring sodium concentrations in the tissue is complicated,” explains the first author of the study, Julia Matthias.

“Dissolved salt in blood can be measured using standard clinical methods. But for the skin, we needed the help of colleagues in nuclear chemistry and physics.”

They tested the skin samples at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) at TUM and at the Institute for Nuclear Chemistry at the University of Mainz by means of neutron activation analysis. The sodium levels in the affected skin areas of patients suffering from atopic dermatitis proved to be up to 30 times higher than in healthy skin.

Ideal conditions for bacteria thriving under salty conditions

“The higher sodium levels in the affected skin neatly match another characteristic of atopic dermatitis,” says Christina Zielinski. “It has been known for some time that patients with this condition have elevated levels of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus on their skin.

These are bacteria, which thrive under salty conditions – in contrast to other commensal bacteria, which are in fact harmed by salt.” Zielinski believes that this insight along with others and the current research results point to a link between salt and the occurrence of atopic dermatitis.

“However, we have not yet been able to show how these large quantities of salt find their way to the skin,” she concedes. “For that reason, we are also unsure of how a low-salt or high-salt diet might be related to the appearance and progression of atopic dermatitis or other allergic conditions.” Professor Zielinski and her team hope to answer these and other questions in future interdisciplinary studies.

More information:

Christina Zielinski's professorship at TUM receives funding from the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF). The research was partly conducted at the Berlin university hospital Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

• Zielinski Lab: https://zielinskilab.com
• TUM Institute of Virology: https://www.virologie.med.tum.de/en/home/
• German Center for Infection Research (DZIF): http://www.dzif.de/en/

Further information on the neutron activation analysis performed for the study is available on the website of the FRM II research neutron source: https://www.frm2.tum.de/en/industry-medicine/analysis-with-neutrons/

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. med. Christina Zielinski
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
TranslaTUM & Institute of Virology
Tel: +49 89 4140-4134
christina.zielinski@tum.de

Originalpublikation:

J. Matthias, J. Maul, R. Noster, H. Meinl, Y.-Y. Chao, H. Gerstenberg, F. Jeschke, G. Gasparoni, A. Welle, J. Walter, K. Nordström, K. Eberhardt, D. Renisch, S. Donakonda, P. Knolle, D. Soll, S. Grabbe, N. Garzorz-Stark, K. Eyerich, T. Biedermann, D. Baumjohann, C. E. Zielinski. "Sodium chloride is an ionic checkpoint for human TH2 cells and shapes the atopic skin microenvironment." Science Translational Medicine (2019). DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau0683

Weitere Informationen:

https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/1475815 High-resolution images

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München

Further reports about: T cells TUM Virology atopic dermatitis bacteria chloride salt concentrations skin sodium sodium chloride

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht If Machines Could Smell ...
19.07.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

nachricht Algae-killing viruses spur nutrient recycling in oceans
18.07.2019 | Rutgers University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heat flow through single molecules detected

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Heat transport through single molecules

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Welcome Committee for Comets

19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>