Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Machinery of immune protection against inflammatory diseases like colitis detailed

Date:
March 20, 2010
Source:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Summary:
Scientists report a protein made by a gene already associated with a handful of human inflammatory immune diseases plays a pivotal role in protecting the intestinal tract from colitis.

Scientists report a protein made by a gene already associated with a handful of human inflammatory immune diseases plays a pivotal role in protecting the intestinal tract from colitis.

Related Articles


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators led the research, which points to possible new strategies for combating colitis. Colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with colon damage, resulting in abdominal pain, bleeding and other symptoms.

The work also expands the link between the Nlrp3 protein and Crohn's disease, said Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, Ph.D., assistant member of the St. Jude Department of Immunology and the paper's senior author. Md. Hasan Zaki, Ph.D., a St. Jude postdoctoral fellow, is first author of the study, which appears in the March 18 online edition of the journal Immunity.

Researchers demonstrated that in a mouse model of colitis, Nlrp3 plays a pivotal role in keeping the intestinal tract intact, thus preventing further damage that occurs if intestinal bacteria leak into the body. Nlrp3 works by anchoring a large, multi-protein complex known as the Nlrp3 inflammasome where the messenger protein interleukin 18 (IL-18) is made. IL-18 belongs to a family of molecules known as cytokines, which shape the body's immune response. In this study, researchers showed IL-18 produced by the Nlrp3 inflammasome helped mice maintain healthy colon by triggering production of more epithelial cells to compensate for those damaged or destroyed by colitis.

"This paper provides the basis for more effective, potentially disease-modifying approaches to treatment," Kanneganti said. She added that in this study, scientists showed the specific pathway activated in the epithelial cells lining the colon for IL-18 production.

Previous studies linked changes in the NLRP3 gene to several auto-inflammatory problems in which a person's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. The gene is part of the body's innate immune response. That is the branch of the immune system programmed to act immediately against infectious diseases and other threats.

"I believe if we target molecules that are part of the innate immune response we can find cures for many diseases, including cancer," Kanneganti said. She and her colleagues focused on Nlrp3 in colitis after reports that patients with Crohn's disease, another disorder characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation, had low levels of the protein.

In a series of experiments, scientists demonstrated that the Nlrp3 inflammasome not only helps protect against chemically induced colitis in mice, but also showed how and where in the body the protection occurred. The researchers demonstrated that in response to colitis, the Nlrp3 inflammasome is activated in the epithelial cells lining the colon, where IL-18 can be produced.

Investigators also established that IL-18 is crucial for protecting the colon from colitis. In fact, researchers reported that injecting IL-18 into mice that lacked the molecule eased colitis symptoms.

The other authors of this study are Kelli Boyd, Peter Vogel and Michael Kastan (all St. Jude) and Mohamed Lamkanfi (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium).

This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and ALSAC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Machinery of immune protection against inflammatory diseases like colitis detailed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100318132506.htm>.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (2010, March 20). Machinery of immune protection against inflammatory diseases like colitis detailed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100318132506.htm
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Machinery of immune protection against inflammatory diseases like colitis detailed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100318132506.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. 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:

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