Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Balancing the gut – how the immune system maintains a healthy gut microbiota

26.02.2019

Joint Press Release of the Cluster of Excellence PMI at Kiel University and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation” and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have uncovered a critical mechanism that controls immune reactions against microorganisms in the intestine. The results of the international study may contribute to the development of new therapies for chronic inflammatory bowel disease. They have been published in the journal Nature Immunology.


Alexander Scheffold, Cluster of Excellence "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation", Professor of Immunology at Kiel University, Faculty of Medicine, and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel. Photo: Jürgen Haacks, Kiel University

The immune system protects against the spread of pathogenic germs in the intestine. At the same time, it allows the colonisation of beneficial microorganisms. Conversely, the composition of the microorganisms in the intestine, the so-called microbiota, has an influence on the quality of the immune reaction.

An international research group led by Professor Alexander Scheffold of Kiel University (CAU) and the Cluster of Excellence Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation has uncovered a critical mechanism that establishes the balance between immune system and microbiota.

The researchers Dr. Christian Neumann (Charité), Dr. Sascha Rutz (Genentech, San Francisco), Professor Axel Kallies (University of Melbourne and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne), Professor Scheffold and colleagues studied molecular regulators of immune-microbiome-interactions in mice. The team focused on so-called regulatory T cells.

These are immune cells that prevent harmless or even useful microorganisms in the intestine from being attacked by the immune system. "We have identified a molecule, c-Maf, which is critical for the development and function of specific regulatory T cells in the gut," explains Scheffold. C-Maf prevents the immune system from attacking the microbiota.

"If this molecule is missing, the gut’s immune system overreacts and the microbiota composition changes considerably," added first author Dr. Christian Neumann of Charité’s Institute of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology. This change in composition proved remarkably stable. When the researchers transferred the altered microbiota to mice with intact c-Maf-dependent regulatory T cells, they also developed an overreaction of the intestinal immune system.

"These results show that both the immune system and the microbiota mutually contribute to establishing and maintaining the balance in the gut," emphasises Prof. Scheffold. "This could explain how a microbial imbalance can contribute to chronic inflammatory bowel disease and why the treatment often fails".

These findings could lead to new therapeutic approaches that, for example in the case of inflammatory bowel disease, aim to influence and harmone both immune response and microbiota. In the future, the team would like to study how an established pathological interaction between intestinal bacteria and the immune system can be destabilized in patients and restored to its original state.

Original publication
Christian Neumann, …. Axel Kallies, Alexander Scheffold, et al. c-Maf-dependent Treg cell control of intestinal TH17 cells and IgA establishes host–microbiota homeostasis. Nature Immunology. Published 18 February 2019. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-019-0316-2

Contact:
Prof. Dr Alexander Scheffold
Institute of Immunology,
Kiel university and University Medical Center-UKSH, Kiel
Tel.: +49 (0)431/500-31000
Alexander.Scheffold@uksh.de

Dr. Christian Neumann
Institute of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30/450-524 038
c.neumann@charite.de

Photos are available to download:

https://precisionmedicine.de/pm/material/20190221_AlexanderScheffold_HaacksCAU.j...
Alexander Scheffold, Cluster of Excellence "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation", Professor of Immunology at Kiel University, Faculty of Medicine, and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel. Photo: Jürgen Haacks, Kiel University

Press contact:
Kerstin Nees
Tel.: (040) 8320998, E-mail: presse.cluster@uv.uni-kiel.de
Internet: https://precisionmedicine.de/

The Cluster of Excellence "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation" (PMI) has won funding from 2019 to 2025 through the German Excellence Strategy (ExStra). It succeeds the "Inflammation at Interfaces” Cluster, which had already won funding in two periods of the Excellence Initiative (2007-2018). Around 300 members from eight institutes at five locations are involved: Kiel (Kiel University, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Muthesius University, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN)), Lübeck (University of Lübeck, UKSH), Plön (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology), Borstel (Research Center Borstel - Leibniz Lung Center) and Großhansdorf (Lungenclinic Grosshansdorf). The aim is to draw on the multifaceted research approach to chronic inflammatory diseases of barrier organs, and transfer this interdisciplinarity to healthcare more intensively, as well as to fulfil previously unsatisfied needs of those affected. Three points are important in the context of a successful treatment, and are therefore at the centre of the PMI research: the early detection of chronic inflammatory diseases, the prediction of disease progression and complications, and the prediction of the individual response to treatment.

Cluster of Excellence "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation"
Scientific Office, Head: Dr habil. Susanne Holstein
Postal address: Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Contact: Sonja Petermann
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-4850, Fax: +49 (0)431 880-4894
E-mail: spetermann@uv.uni-kiel.de
Twitter: PMI @medinflame

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr Alexander Scheffold
Institute of Immunology,
Kiel university and University Medical Center-UKSH, Kiel
Tel.: +49 (0)431/500-31000
Alexander.Scheffold@uksh.de

Dr. Christian Neumann
Institute of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30/450-524 038
c.neumann@charite.de

Originalpublikation:

Christian Neumann, …. Axel Kallies, Alexander Scheffold, et al. c-Maf-dependent Treg cell control of intestinal TH17 cells and IgA establishes host–microbiota homeostasis. Nature Immunology. Published 18 February 2019. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-019-0316-2

Kerstin Nees | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
https://precisionmedicine.de/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Genetic differences between strains of Epstein-Barr virus can alter its activity
18.07.2019 | University of Sussex

nachricht Machine learning platform guides pancreatic cyst management in patients
18.07.2019 | American Association for the Advancement of Science

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

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 >>>