Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Surprise for stroke researchers

10.03.2010
Strokes are less damaging if certain immune cells are absent in the blood. This previously unknown mechanism will be presented by researchers from the University of Würzburg in the science journal "Blood".

Someone in Germany suffers a stroke every two minutes. The cause is usually a blockage in the blood vessels that supply the brain. Anyone who survives a stroke may sustain severe disabilities, such as impaired speech or paralyses; the reason being that the brain is damaged because it was deprived of sufficient blood for too long.

The blood vessels tend to be blocked by clotted blood. Dissolving these clots or stopping them from occurring in the first place is the primary objective in the treatment and prevention of strokes.

Consequently, the search for new and better therapies starts where the cause of the illness lies: with the blood coagulation that leads to the formation of clots. The Würzburg scientists were all the more astonished, then, when they made a discovery elsewhere - the T cells of the immune system also play a role in strokes. These are actually the cells responsible for combating pathogens.

T cells have a damaging effect

What exactly did the researchers discover? Mice with no T cells due to a genetic defect suffer less severe strokes than their normal fellow mice. What is more, they develop fewer symptoms of neurological deficiencies, such as paralyses, after a stroke. This means that T cells have a negative effect on the progression of a stroke. This has been proven by the working groups of Guido Stoll, Christoph Kleinschnitz, and Heinz Wiendl from the university's Department of Neurology together with Bernhard Nieswandt from the Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine.

"The fact that T cells have such a damaging effect in the case of acute strokes came as a complete surprise to us," reports Christoph Kleinschnitz. The adverse effect can be traced back to two sub-groups of immune cells, the so-called CD4- and CD8-positive T helper cells.

But do the T cells intensify a stroke? The Würzburg scientists were able to rule out two possible mechanisms in their experiments. Firstly, the T cells do not promote the agglutination of the blood platelets or, therefore, the formation of blood clots. "Secondly, they do not fuel the process either in the form of a specific immune reaction," says neuroimmunologist Heinz Wiendl. Further research is now needed to clarify how the T cells exercise their damaging effect.

New approaches to therapy conceivable

The Würzburg researchers hope that their work will help improve stroke therapy for humans. If the findings can be transferred to people, it might be possible to devise new approaches by purposefully manipulating the T cells. It is conceivable, for example, that in the early stages of a stroke the harmful fraction of the T cells may be deactivated temporarily to thereby reduce the symptoms of deficiencies. "But further studies are needed before we reach that point," says neurologist Guido Stoll.

Results achieved in two collaborative research centers

These research findings have been made in the Würzburg collaborative research centers 688 and 581. Both are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The results now are published in the online issue of Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Christoph Kleinschnitz, Nicholas Schwab, Peter Kraft, Ina Hagedorn, Angela Dreykluft, Tobias Schwarz, Madeleine Austinat, Bernhard Nieswandt, Heinz Wiendl, and Guido Stoll: "Early detrimental T cell effects in experimental cerebral ischemia are neither related to adaptive immunity nor thrombus formation." Blood First Edition Paper, prepublished online March 9, 2010; DOI 10.1182/blood-2009-10-249078

Further information

Dr. Christoph Kleinschnitz, T +49 (0)931 201-23765, christoph.kleinschnitz@uni-wuerzburg.de

Robert Emmerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>