Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Delicate Protein Balance Behind Immune System Response Uncovered

Date:
December 11, 2007
Source:
University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has identified the protein interactions involved in the immune system process that fights infection yet, in certain inflammatory diseases, runs amok and attacks friendly tissue.

A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has identified the protein interactions involved in the immune system process that fights infection yet, in certain inflammatory diseases, runs amok and attacks friendly tissue.

Related Articles


The Penn team, led by Christopher Hunter, chair of the Department of Pathobiology at Penn Vet, has identified the pathways that lead to the production of the signaling protein, or cytokine, Interleukin 10 (IL-10) which plays an important role in regulating the balance between the protective white blood, or T, cell response and one that is pathological and out of control.

While IL-10 has long been recognized as a major anti-inflammatory factor, the events that lead to its production have been poorly understood. According to the researchers' findings, messenger proteins Interleukin 27, or a combination of Interleukin 6 and another type of messenger molecule called transforming growth factor beta, induce production of IL-10. These results suggest that modulating these messenger molecules could increase IL-10 concentrations that temper overactive immune responses.

This information sheds new light on the immune-system response and may provide directed means to intervene in severe autoimmune diseases such as colitis, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

"The deeper we delve into the role of cytokines in the immune system response, the more we realize that they are part of an elaborately balanced system kept in check by the conflicting regulatory functions of the cytokines themselves," Hunter said. "When combined with the work from our colleagues at Schering Plough, Harvard and Jefferson University, these studies provide new insights into the pathways that can be used to temper autoimmune inflammation."

Although there are many sources of IL-10 in the body, the details of how it is synthesized were poorly understood. Hunter's team determined that the process begins with cytokines IL-27 and IL-6 inducing production Th1 , Th2 and Th17 T cells and concludes that cytokines like IL-27 can promote the ability of these cells to produce IL-10. The effect was dependent on the transcription factors STAT1 and STAT3 for IL-27 and on STAT3 for IL-6.

Researchers tested this hypothesis by removing the IL-27 receptor from genetically engineered mice. Once infected with disease, the mice were unable to generate T cells producing IL-10.

In prior studies, Penn researchers learned that Interluekin-27 was involved in the immune-system response by limiting the duration and intensity of white blood activation, an "off switch" to the cascade of messenger proteins that serve to further activate the immune system. Prior to their research, the general assumption among scientists was that IL-27 promoted inflammation.

The research was performed by Jason Stumhofer, Jonathan Silver, Tajie Harris and Hunter of the Department of Pathobiology at Penn Vet; Arian Laurence and John O'Shea of the Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis and Muskoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Paige Porrett and Laurence Turka of Penn's School of Medicine; Matthias Ernst of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Victoria, Australia; and Christiaan Saris of the Department of Inflammation Research in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Scholler Foundation, Marie Lowe Cancer Center, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania. "Delicate Protein Balance Behind Immune System Response Uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210214715.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania. (2007, December 11). Delicate Protein Balance Behind Immune System Response Uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210214715.htm
University of Pennsylvania. "Delicate Protein Balance Behind Immune System Response Uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210214715.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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