Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maintaining restraint in the face of danger

02.04.2012
A central regulator of the inflammatory response shows signs as an appealing target for therapies against autoimmune disease
Some bacterial infections trigger the formation of structures known as granulomas, which essentially quarantine compromised cells. “Infected macrophages get surrounded by other immune cells, such as T cells and neutrophils,” explains Takashi Tanaka of the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology in Yokohama. “This serves to wall off pathogens that resist destruction and limits their infection within a restricted area.”

This response is generally beneficial but can lead to a harmful overreaction, especially in patients with autoimmune conditions, where the inflammatory response is not properly regulated. In collaboration with Tadashi Matsuda of Hokkaido University, Tanaka’s group has now revealed a key regulatory checkpoint in the granuloma formation process, which might ultimately inform the development of more effective immunomodulatory drugs.

Historically, a subset of the immune system’s helper T cells, called TH1 cells, has been associated with autoimmunity. Previous research by Tanaka demonstrated that a protein called PDLIM2 helps restrict production of these cells. More recently, other researchers identified a population of helper T cells called TH17 cells that also contribute to this process, although their role was unclear, so Tanaka sought to determine whether PDLIM2 regulates these cells as well.

His team found that mice lacking the gene encoding PDLIM2 formed many more granulomas in response to infection with Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, and that this process was dependent on the action of TH17 cells. In fact, the researchers showed that PDLIM2 directly inhibits the differentiation of CD4+ T cells into TH17 cells, as was previously demonstrated with TH1 development. This protein works by marking other proteins for rapid degradation. Tanaka and colleagues learned that PDLIM2 specifically promotes the destruction of STAT3, a signaling protein that switches on genes responsible for TH17 development. Without PDLIM2 constraining the formation of these pro-inflammatory cells, the immune response has the potential to spiral out of control.

This protein therefore appears to be a key safeguard against autoimmunity. “Recent studies suggest that TH1 and TH17 cell subsets are not mutually exclusive, but cooperatively induce inflammatory responses,” says Tanaka. “Our work demonstrates that PDLIM2 can negatively regulate the development of both cells, and thus represents a useful new target for the treatment of human autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.” Tanaka and colleagues now hope to better understand this protein’s function by clarifying the regulatory factors that act upstream and downstream of PDLIM2, and by clarifying how this system influences other inflammatory processes, such as those observed in cases of asthma or during wound healing.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Research Unit for Inflammatory Regulation, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

nachricht Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another
12.12.2018 | Technische Universität München

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: 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...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

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

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>