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.

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 October 20, 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 October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 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