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.

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 September 18, 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 September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) 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:
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