Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Parasite lipids against asthma or diabetes

11.11.2003


Dutch research has demonstrated that lipids from the parasite schistosoma can inhibit human immune responses. This property makes the lipids interesting for a possible new treatment of diseases such as asthma and diabetes where the immune system responds inappropriately.



During her doctoral research, Desiree van der Kleij discovered that lipids from the parasite schistosoma steer the development of the immune system in a certain direction. Cells from the innate immune system, so-called dendritic cells, respond to these lipids. During this response these cells can initiate the development of so-called regulatory T-cells. These regulatory T-cells subsequently suppress the activity of other cells in the immune system.

The researcher discovered that one of the lipids with this steering effect on dendritic cells contains a fatty acid that does not occur in humans. She also demonstrated that this specific lipid of the parasite activates a specific receptor on dendritic cells. Once the receptor had been blocked, it was found that regulatory T-cells no longer developed after dendritic cells had been stimulated with the parasite lipid.


Diseases such as diabetes and asthma are caused by inappropriate immune responses to certain substances. Molecules which can inhibit the immune responses, such as the lipids of schistosomes, could be used to suppress these errant responses. The use of lipids from schistosomes for this purpose will be investigated in a follow-up study funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

In the immune system, dendritic cells detect the presence of pathogens in the body. These cells then direct the development of immune responses so that a type of immune response develops which is appropriate to combat the pathogen present. The pathogen could be a bacteria, but equally a virus or a parasite.

Schistosomes are parasitic worms. More than 200 million people worldwide are infected with the worm. The majority of these people live in Africa and South America. The worms can survive in their host for years. Although infected persons develop an immune response during an infection, the parasite significantly suppresses the activity of the immune system in people who are chronically infected with these worms. This suppression is probably caused by regulatory T-cells.

Lydie van der Meer | NWO
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists discover the basics of how pressure-sensing Piezo proteins work
22.08.2019 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Protein-transport discovery may help define new strategies for treating eye disease
22.08.2019 | Scripps Research Institute

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: Hamburg and Kiel researchers observe spontaneous occurrence of skyrmions in atomically thin cobalt films

Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.

The existence of magnetic skyrmions as particle-like objects was predicted 30 years ago by theoretical physicists, but could only be proven experimentally in...

Im Focus: Physicists create world's smallest engine

Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.

Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.

Im Focus: Quantum computers to become portable

Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.

Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...

Im Focus: Towards an 'orrery' for quantum gauge theory

Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics

The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracing the evolution of vision

23.08.2019 | Life Sciences

Software for diagnostics and fail-safe operation of robots developed at FEFU

23.08.2019 | Information Technology

Structure of protein nano turbine revealed

23.08.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>