Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silencing Of Molecular 'Conversation' May Help Curb Severe Allergies

Date:
June 30, 2008
Source:
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Summary:
Scientists have identified a process, a synergistic encounter between two molecules, that may account for the extreme allergic reactions some people experience. By silencing at least one of these molecules, it may be possible to treat allergies.

Scientists in Sydney have identified a process, a synergistic encounter between two molecules, that may account for the extreme allergic reactions some people experience. By silencing at least one of these molecules, it may be possible to treat allergies.

The molecules, IL-4 and IL-21, are cytokines or 'chemical messengers' produced by immune cells known as T cells. T cells use cytokines to communicate with B cells, which then make antibodies. When IL-4 and IL-21 are involved in the same 'conversation' with a B cell, laboratory experiments show they stimulate the production of large amounts of the antibody class known as immunoglobulin E, or IgE.

IgE is a very tightly regulated antibody. Under normal circumstances, it is present in only very small quantities and protects us against parasites. Unfortunately, it becomes damaging when the body makes too much.

The findings, made by Danielle Avery and Dr Stuart Tangye from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, are now published online in the international publication Blood.

Dr Tangye, a B cell biologist, is interested in understanding how the body regulates the production of antibodies, in this case the IgE class. "IgE is such an efficient molecule that too much of it can be dangerous," he said. "High quantities tend to over-activate other immune cells and it's the action of those other cells that can be damaging. High levels of IgE are associated with allergies including asthma, dermatitis and rhinitis."

"It's been known for many years that IL-4 can drive IgE production in humans and mice. Our finding shows that IL-21 also stimulates production of IgE by human B cells, but it does this by using an entirely different pathway."

"As it happens, the combination of IL-4 and IL-21 provokes a very strong IgE response, around ten times greater than either molecule in isolation."

"Through an ongoing collaboration with Canberra's John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra Hospital and Westmead Hospital, we were able to test our theory by looking at patients with mutations in the IL-21 pathway. If you can't activate that pathway, you don't get the synergistic effect between the two cytokines."

"We surmise as a result of this study that it should be possible to target the IL-21 molecule with an antibody to block its ability to activate B cells. This may prove an effective treatment in cases where allergic responses are caused by the synergistic effect of IL-4 and IL-21."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Silencing Of Molecular 'Conversation' May Help Curb Severe Allergies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080630090837.htm>.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. (2008, June 30). Silencing Of Molecular 'Conversation' May Help Curb Severe Allergies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080630090837.htm
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Silencing Of Molecular 'Conversation' May Help Curb Severe Allergies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080630090837.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 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:
from the past week

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