Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Role For Lung Epithelial Cells In Sensing Allergens In Air

Date:
April 1, 2009
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Researchers have identified a new role for certain lung cells in the immune response to airborne allergens. Many foreign substances, called antigens, are inhaled daily, but the lungs have mechanisms that usually prevent people from making unwanted immune responses to these materials. Sometimes, however, immune responses are generated to these substances, resulting in allergic responses and asthma. Scientists have worked to understand what triggers these undesirable responses.

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and at Ghent University in Ghent, Belgium, have identified a new role for certain lung cells in the immune response to airborne allergens.

Many foreign substances, called antigens, are inhaled daily, but the lungs have mechanisms that usually prevent people from making unwanted immune responses to these materials. Sometimes, however, immune responses are generated to these substances, resulting in allergic responses and asthma. Scientists have been working to understand what triggers these undesirable airway responses.

In this new study, conducted in mice, scientists discovered that special sensors called Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which dot the surface of epithelial cells that line the lungs, detect the presence of antigens and produce signals that activate immune cells. The researchers observed that a particular TLR, TLR4, promoted allergic airway responses to antigen mixtures containing bacterial material or a very common allergen from house dust mites.

Previously, it was unclear whether TLRs on non-immune epithelial cells at mucosal surfaces such as those in the lungs were involved in antigen sensing, or if it was TLRs found on immune cells in these areas that were critical to these allergic responses. The research team observed that TLR4 on airway epithelial cells, not on immune cells, helped induce the initial immune response to antigens in the lungs. Eliminating TLR4 or blocking TLR4 function on the airway epithelial cells reduced the recruitment of immune cells to the lungs and the development of allergic disease.

This study demonstrates that TLR4 found on non-immune cells in the lungs contributes to the immune response to airborne antigens. The new results suggest that targeting TLRs may be a research avenue for developing novel treatments for allergic diseases such as asthma.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H Hammad et al. House dust mite allergen induces asthma via Toll-like receptor 4 triggering of airway structural cells. Nature Medicine, DOI: 10.1038/nm.1946 (2009)

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "New Role For Lung Epithelial Cells In Sensing Allergens In Air." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330123219.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2009, April 1). New Role For Lung Epithelial Cells In Sensing Allergens In Air. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330123219.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "New Role For Lung Epithelial Cells In Sensing Allergens In Air." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330123219.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
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