Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rheumatoid Arthritis Breakthrough

Date:
November 12, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful, inflammatory type of arthritis that occurs when the body's immune system attacks itself. A new article in PLoS Biology, reports a breakthrough in the understanding of how autoimmune responses can be controlled, offering a promising new strategy for therapy development for rheumatoid arthritis.

Specific immunosuppression with inducible Foxp3-transduced polyclonal T cells.
Credit: Andersen KG, Butcher T, Betz AG et al.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful, inflammatory type of arthritis that occurs when the body's immune system attacks itself. A new article reports a breakthrough in the understanding of how autoimmune responses can be controlled, offering a promising new strategy for therapy development for rheumatoid arthritis.

Related Articles


Normally, immune cells develop to recognise foreign material – antigens; including bacteria - so that they can activate a response against them. Immune cells that would respond to 'self' and therefore attack the body's own cells are usually destroyed during development. If any persist, they are held in check by special regulatory cells that provide a sort of autoimmune checkpoint. A key player in these regulatory cells is a molecule called Foxp3. People who lack or have mutated versions of the Foxp3 gene lack or have dysfunctional immune regulation, which causes dramatic autoimmune disease.

Scientists at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, and funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign, have genetically engineered a drug-inducible form of Foxp3. Using this, scientists can 'switch' developing immune cells into regulatory cells that are then capable of suppressing the immune response.

Dr. Alexander Betz, Group Leader at the MRC laboratory, explains: "We have generated a modified form of Foxp3 which can be introduced into immune cells using genetic engineering techniques and then activated by a simple injection. When administered to and activated in animal models of arthritis, the modified cells inhibit or even reverse the disease process."

Further work is now aimed at elucidating the detailed molecular mechanisms involved in Foxp3 function, and transferring the experimental approach to human cells.

"First, we will develop a human Foxp3 factor and then assess its function in human arthritis models," said Dr Betz. "To be viable as a therapeutic option, the regulatory cells must fulfill certain criteria; they must be tissue matched to the patient for compatibility; they must only block the targeted disease and not the whole body immune response; and they have to home correctly to their target tissue. Establishing these criteria will be the key focus of our research.

"If Foxp3 functions as a key developmental switch in human immune cells, there is potential for a new avenue of therapy development that could transform arthritis treatment is substantial," he added.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Andersen KG, Butcher T, Betz AG. Specific immunosuppression with inducible Foxp3-transduced polyclonal T cells. PLoS Biol, 6(11): e276 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060276

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Rheumatoid Arthritis Breakthrough." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111203455.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, November 12). Rheumatoid Arthritis Breakthrough. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111203455.htm
Public Library of Science. "Rheumatoid Arthritis Breakthrough." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111203455.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) 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