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 September 1, 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 September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 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