Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural Compounds Block Autoimmune Response In Diabetes, Arthritis

Date:
November 7, 2006
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Natural compounds derived from a sea anemone extract and a shrub plant have been found to block the autoimmune disease response in type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, according to University of California, Irvine researchers.

Sea anemone.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Irvine

Natural compounds derived from a sea anemone extract and a shrub plant have been found to block the autoimmune disease response in type-1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, according to University of California, Irvine researchers.

The study shows both in human and animal tests how these compounds work to deter the effect of autoimmune T-cells, white blood cells that attack the body. The goal, according to UCI researchers, is to develop new treatments from these compounds that will target these destructive T-cells while allowing other white blood cells to fight disease and infection.

Study results appear Nov. 6-10 in the Early Online Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study, led by UC Irvine School of Medicine researchers George Chandy and Christine Beeton, identifies how these compounds work against a type of white blood cells called effector memory T lymphocytes, which play a major role in autoimmunity. Both compounds block an ion channel in these cells that prevents the cells from proliferating and producing chemicals called cytokines that attack the body during autoimmune disease states.

"Autoimmune diseases affect millions of Americans, and any new therapies that can aid them will have great significance," Chandy said. "What's promising about this study is that we identified a protein target on the T-cells that promote autoimmune activity and the compounds that can selectively block the target and shut down the destructive cells."

White blood cells patrol the body to fight against cancer and infections, but if some of these cells turn against the body they are meant to protect, they cause autoimmune diseases. Millions of people worldwide are afflicted with disabling autoimmune disorders. Two examples of this large class of diseases are type-1 diabetes, in which white blood cells attack the pancreas, and rheumatoid arthritis, in which the joints are attacked.

In their study, the UCI researchers used modified compounds derived from the rue plant (PAP-1) and a Cuban sea anemone extract (SL5), both of which block the ion channel in the destructive T-cells.

In one set of tests using blood samples from type-1 diabetes patients and joint fluid from people with rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers found that both compounds suppressed the function of the autoimmune T-cells without affecting other T-cells that fight infections.

In another set of tests using rats, the compound from the rue shrub plant delayed the onset and reduced the incidence of disease in diabetic rats, while the venom compound stopped the progression of the disease and improved the joint function of rats with experimental autoimmune arthritis. In these rat tests, the compounds were nontoxic.

The Chandy laboratory previously discovered that SL5 compound was effective in treating rats with an experimental model of multiple sclerosis, another devastating autoimmune disease. Preclinical safety studies on PAP-1 and SL5 are under way in collaboration with AIRMID, a biotech company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"We began our work on these natural products many years ago when we came across a report that described the beneficial effect of a scorpion sting on a patient with multiple sclerosis," Beeton said. "This work also speaks to the importance of protecting our plant and animal biodiversity -- you never know where a new medicine will come from."

Heike Wulff from University of California, Davis is a co-lead author, and other authors from UCI, UC Davis, Johns Hopkins University, Bachem Biosciences and the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle are noted in the study text. The National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Arthritis National Research Foundation and David Israelsky provided support for this study.

About type-1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis: The American Diabetes Association estimates that type-1 diabetes mellitus, also known as juvenile diabetes, affects one in every 400 or 600 children and adolescents in the U.S. It is characterized by a destruction of the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Without enough insulin, the body cannot correctly regulate levels of blood glucose, a major source of energy for the body. Type-1 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, and nerve or kidney damage.

In rheumatoid arthritis, white blood cells induce inflammation in the joints, leading to muscle and joint aches, stiffness, and fatigue. According to the Arthritis Foundation, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women. An estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis. Some recent studies have suggested that the overall number of new cases of rheumatoid arthritis actually may be going down.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Natural Compounds Block Autoimmune Response In Diabetes, Arthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061107082647.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2006, November 7). Natural Compounds Block Autoimmune Response In Diabetes, Arthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061107082647.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Natural Compounds Block Autoimmune Response In Diabetes, Arthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061107082647.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
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