Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

VCU Study Shows Hormone-like Molecule Kills Cells That Cause Inflammation In Allergic Disease

Date:
August 25, 2005
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
Virginia Commonwealth University immunologists studying mast cells, known to play a central role in asthma and allergic disease, have identified a hormone-like molecule that can kill these cells by programming them to die in studies with mice.

Virginia Commonwealth University immunologists studying mastcells, known to play a central role in asthma and allergic disease,have identified a hormone-like molecule that can kill these cells byprogramming them to die in studies with mice.

Related Articles


The findings moveresearchers another step closer to understanding the life cycle of mastcells, and may help researchers develop new treatments for allergy andinflammatory responses in arthritis, multiple sclerosis and heartdisease.

In the Journal of Immunology, published online Aug. 23,researchers demonstrated the means by which a cytokine calledinterferon gamma (IFNy) induces death of developing mast cells in amouse model system. Although IFNy induced cell death in developing mastcells, it did not affect the survival of mast cells that had alreadyundergone differentiation.

“We believe that cytokines, such asinterferon gamma, are an important means of controlling mast cellfunction in the body,” said John J. Ryan, Ph.D., associate professor ofbiology at VCU and lead author of the study. “Because mast cells causeinflammation, regulating how many mast cells the body makes, where theygo, what they do, and when they die can have a huge impact on healthand disease.

“For example, there has been one report of apatient with mastocytosis, which is a type of pre-leukemia where mastcells proliferate abnormally, that showed improvement with IFNytreatment,” he said. “It is possible that other mast cell-relateddiseases, such as asthma, may respond to IFNy treatment.”

Accordingto Ryan, mast cells are packed with granules containing histamine andare present in nearly all tissues except blood. When mast cells areactivated, inflammatory substances such as histamine, heparin and anumber of cytokines are rapidly released into the tissues and blood,promoting an allergic reaction.

Mast cells are believed to begenerated by different precursor cells in the bone marrow. In the invitro portion of the study, researchers used mouse bone marrow cellscontaining the stem cells that give rise to mast cells. They culturedthese precursor cells in conditions that allow mast cells to develop,and then added IFNy to some of these cultures. A high rate of celldeath yielding no living mast cells was observed in the cultures thatreceived IFNy.

Similar results were reported in vivo using amouse model. Mice with a mutation that causes them to overproduce IFNywere used, and again, researchers observed a significant decrease inmast cell numbers due to the excess of IFNy. When researchers tried toculture mast cells from the bone marrow of these mice, the mast cellsdied.

Furthermore, a separate strain of mice with the samemutation as the first strain, but that had also been engineered toprevent IFNy production, were found to have almost as many mast cellsas normal mice, if not more. They concluded that the presence of highIFNy levels blocked mast cell development.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Ryancollaborated with colleagues in the VCU Department of Biology, and theDepartment of Biochemistry at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital inMemphis, Tenn.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "VCU Study Shows Hormone-like Molecule Kills Cells That Cause Inflammation In Allergic Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050825071324.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2005, August 25). VCU Study Shows Hormone-like Molecule Kills Cells That Cause Inflammation In Allergic Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050825071324.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "VCU Study Shows Hormone-like Molecule Kills Cells That Cause Inflammation In Allergic Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050825071324.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins