Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune cells that prevent development of asthma identified

Date:
November 30, 2009
Source:
University of Liège
Summary:
Asthma is inhibited by regulatory macrophages, a cell population never previously described.

A regulatory macrophage (in red) paralysing a cell (in blue) of the respiratory immune system.
Credit: Copyright ULg-GIGA

According to the great paradigms of immunology, asthma, an allergic disease of the respiratory system, should always develop upon exposure to airborne antigens that are constantly being inhaled. However, the fact that 94 % of the Western population does not develop the disease suggests that as yet undefined mechanisms protect the respiratory tract from developing an allergic response. A team of researchers at University of Liege (Belgium), GIGA Research Center, led by Professor Fabrice Bureau, has shown that asthma is inhibited by regulatory macrophages, a cell population never previously described. 

Asthma affects 6 % of the population and kills twenty thousand people in Europe each year. Patients suffering from the disease first develop, often at a very early age, a useless and even harmful immune reaction to airborne allergens (mite excrement, pet scales, pollens, etc.). Whenever exposed to these allergens, the patient's innate respiratory immune system is reactivated, thereby inducing a narrowing of the airways, which in turn results in insufficient oxygenation.

As the airborne antigens we take in with each breath are foreign to our bodies, this should elicit a response of the immune system. Moreover, ambient air contains a significant number of immunostimulatory molecules (bacterial endotoxins) that act as danger signals and should prompt the immune system to respond to the inhaled antigens. If this were so, the entire population would be asthmatic.

At GIGA Research Center (University of Liege), Fabrice Bureau and his team thus set out to understand the mechanisms which prevent the majority of the population from developing asthma and have discovered that certain cells present in the lungs are capable of inhibiting asthmatic reactions. These cells are regulatory macrophages which had not been characterized previously. The researchers have shown that these macrophages detect airborne antigens as well as concomitant immunostimulatory molecules.  Furthermore, they have demonstrated that when endotoxins are present in small amounts (as is the case in ambient air), regulatory macrophages paralyse the cells of the innate respiratory immune system, thus inhibiting the development of asthma in most people.  The researchers thus hypothesise that asthma can only develop when these regulatory macrophages are deficient.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Denis Bedoret et al. Lung interstitial macrophages alter dendritic cell functions to prevent airway allergy in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, November 9, 2009 DOI: 10.1172/JCI39717

Cite This Page:

University of Liège. "Immune cells that prevent development of asthma identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173406.htm>.
University of Liège. (2009, November 30). Immune cells that prevent development of asthma identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173406.htm
University of Liège. "Immune cells that prevent development of asthma identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173406.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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