Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Too much of a good thing: overactive immune cells trigger inflammation

16.09.2019

Scientists describe a previously unknown disorder of the immune system: in a distinct subset of immune cells from patients with primary immunodeficiency, cellular respiration is significantly increased. This cellular metabolic overactivity leads to inflammation, as an international research team led by the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel report in the journal Nature Immunology.

The immune system protects us from infections and tumors – a challenging task, not least because harming the body’s own healthy tissue must be avoided at the same time. However, rare genetic diseases lead to defects in the immune system known as primary immunodeficiency disorders (PID).


Molecular model: A typical interaction between the A45T mutated SDHA gene (green) and the SDHB gene (blue).

DBM

One consequence of such disorders is susceptibility to infections, yet certain tumors and non-infectious inflammation (autoimmune diseases) can also occur more frequently.

The researchers tested the hypothesis that the metabolic activity in the immune cells of PID patients can serve as a biomarker. They based this on the fact that cellular metabolism is a key regulator of the functioning of immune cells.

In the immune cells of a subset of the examined PID patients, a key metabolic process – cellular respiration – was indeed significantly increased. During cellular respiration, energy is generated in the mitochondria, the “powerhouses of the cell”.

Increased cellular respiration

On the basis of this discovery, the researchers were able to decode a new kind of disease mechanism, from the genetic defect via mitochondria and back to signal transduction to the nucleus.

The increased cellular respiration was triggered by the hyperactivity of a protein in the respiratory chain. This then signaled the cells to produce inflammatory mediators. With these findings, the researchers were able to successfully administer a targeted treatment approved for another indication.

The study was led by Professor Christoph Hess (Department of Biomedicine (DBM) of the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, and CITIID, University of Cambridge) and Professor Mike Recher (DBM, University of Basel and University Hospital Basel).

“It is an example of how patient-based research can help to decode disease-causing molecular processes,” Christoph Hess says. This benefits patients, who may receive more targeted and effective medication with fewer side effects. Further, insights into fundamental biological processes gained from studying rare diseases can also enable new pathophysiological considerations relating to more common diseases.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Christoph Hess, University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine, Immunobiology, phone: +41 61 328 68 30, e-mail: chess@uhbs.ch

Originalpublikation:

Anne-Valérie Burgener, Glenn R. Bantug et al.
SDHA gain-of-function engages inflammatory mitochondrial retrograde signaling via KEAP1–Nrf2
Nature Immunology | DOI 10.1038/s41590-019-0482-2

Christoph Dieffenbacher | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

Further reports about: immune cells immune system inflammation metabolic mitochondria respiration tumors

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Human skin is an important source of ammonia emissions
27.05.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme
27.05.2020 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

German-British Research project for even more climate protection in the rail industry

28.05.2020 | Transportation and Logistics

A special elemental magic

28.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Skoltech scientists get a sneak peek of a key process in battery 'life'

28.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>