Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New findings on local inflammatory processes in the liver


The precise knowledge on organ-specific processes in inflammatory conditions is the basis of new ideas for approaches to targeted therapies with fewer undesirable effects. Researchers of the PEI have gained new findings in liver-specific inflammatory processes – in this context the receptor for interleukin-1ß is in the focus. The Journal Frontiers in Immunology reports on the research results in its online edition of 09.05.2019.

Due to its very high complexity and its pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory messenger substances (cytokines), the immune system is not fully understood yet. Type I interferons form a major group of messenger substances that influence more than 300 genes, thus significantly contributing to the activity of the immune system.

Histology of IFNAR-deficient mice after treatment with RNA: Mice with the interleukin-1β-receptor develop liver damage (left), while the liver of mice without this receptor remains intact (right).

Source: PEI

In previous experiments, Professor Dr Zoe Waibler, head of Section Product Testing of immunological biomedicines of Division ”Immunology” at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, and her colleagues found out how type-I-interferons can protect the liver.

Mice in which type I interferons are unable to mediate their effects (type I interferon receptor (IFNAR) deficient mice) developed severe liver inflammation after the respective treatment, while those animals that had the IFNAR did not.

This has been related to an imbalance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines of the interleukin-1 family.

In their current study, the researchers have asked the question why in IFNAR-deficient mice, only the liver, but no other organs, e.g. the spleen are affected by this damage. To find out, they used poly(I:C), similarly to their preceding studies.

Poly(I:C) is an artificial double-stranded RNA, which is able to activate the immune system in an unspecific manner, as is the case, e.g. in virus infections. The researchers were surprised to find that pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in IFNAR-deficient mice showed an imbalance not only in the liver but also in other, intact organs.

Other important parameters, too, did not differ when the liver and the spleen were studied in mice with or without IFNAR: Other messenger substances of the immune system were largely distributed evenly in damaged and intact organs. The same applied to important immune cells.

Finally, the researchers discovered the difference: An important receptor is expressed (formed) in different ways in the organs: The receptor in question is the receptor for interleukin-1β, which is expressed in the liver but not in the spleen. Interleukin-1β is a cytokine with strong inflammatory properties.

Thus, in the absence of type I interferon, interleukin-1βis expressed upon poly(I:C) treatment to damage the liver but not the spleen, where the receptor for interleukin-1β is missing.

Findings on different distributions of important receptors in different organs provide a contribution to finding targeted therapies with fewer adverse effects.


Anzaghe M, Resch T, Schaser E, Kronhart S, Diez C, Niles MA, Korotkova E, Schülke S, Wolfheimer S, Kreuz D, Wingerter M, Bartolomé Rodríguez MM, Waibler Z (2019): Organ-specific expression of IL-1 receptor results in severe liver injury in type I interferon receptor deficient mice.
Front Immunol May 9 [Epub ahead of print].

Weitere Informationen:

Dr. Susanne Stöcker | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Crystal growth kinetics and its link to evolution. New findings about biomineralization in molluscan shells
24.09.2019 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht DNA is held together by hydrophobic forces
23.09.2019 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.

Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in...

Im Focus: Stevens team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Photons interact on chip-based system with unprecedented efficiency

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

Latest News

Wire laser material deposition – a smart way to save costs

24.09.2019 | Trade Fair News

On the trail of self-healing processes: Bayreuth biochemists reveal insights into extraordinary regenerative ability

23.09.2019 | Life Sciences

New method for the measurement of nano-structured light fields

23.09.2019 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>