Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell component involved in triggering cat allergy identified

Date:
March 10, 2011
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
New research could provide hope for any allergy sufferers who have ever had to choose between their health and their household pet.

Cat. Cat dander consists of microscopic pieces of cat skin which easily become airborne.
Credit: Copyright Michele Hogan

A breakthrough by scientists at The University of Nottingham could provide hope for any allergy sufferers who have ever had to choose between their health and their household pet.

The team of immunologists led by Drs Ghaem-Maghami and Martinez-Pomares in the University's School of Molecular Medical Sciences, and funded by the charity Asthma UK, have identified a cell component which plays a key role in triggering allergic responses to cat dander.

The discovery furthers our understanding of how the body's immune system identifies and reacts to allergens, which could pave the way in developing new ways of treating allergies.

The development is especially good news for the millions of people with asthma whose condition is often worsened by their allergy to airborne allergens from cat dander or house dust mite. Cat dander consists of microscopic pieces of cat skin which easily become airborne.

Dr Amir Ghaem-Maghami said: "There has been a sharp increase in the prevalence of allergies over the past few decades and allergic asthma among children has reached epidemic proportions in many industrialised countries, including the UK.

"Despite improvements in patient care, three people die every day in the UK from asthma, and most therapies target symptoms rather than curing the condition.

"Many people with asthma are highly sensitive to airborne allergens such as cat dander or house dust mite -- in fact many studies have shown that up to 40 per cent of children with asthma are allergic to cat allergens.

"A better understanding of how the interaction between allergens and the immune system leads to allergy is vital if we are to develop more effective and efficient treatments for this debilitating condition."

Dr Elaine Vickers, Research Relations Manager at Asthma UK, says: "We are delighted to see the rapid progress that Dr Ghaem-Maghami and his colleagues are making in such a complex area of research.

"This is a great example of where Asthma UK's research funding is leading to a better understanding of asthma which could ultimately benefit thousands of people with both asthma and allergies."

Allergy is a disorder caused by the body's immune system reacting to usually harmless substances found in the environment, known as allergens. Believing itself under attack, the immune system produces a molecule called IgE, which eventually leads to release of further chemicals (including histamine) by certain immune cells which together cause an inflammatory response and the classic symptoms of allergy -- itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose and wheezing.

The Nottingham work, recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, has focused on the role of the mannose receptor (MR), a receptor found on the surface of dendritic cells. These cells are among the first cells in the immune system that come into contact with allergens.

The team recently found that the MR binds to a wide range of allergens and plays an important role in the allergic response to house dust mite allergens. In their latest study they looked at the contribution of MR to allergy caused by a major cat allergen called Fel d 1.

They were able to prove that MR is needed for the body to recognise Fel d 1 as a potential foreign invader and for the production of IgE against Fel d 1. The discovery shows that MR plays a pivotal role not only in recognising allergens but also in provoking the body's allergic response to them.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Emara, P.-J. Royer, Z. Abbas, H. F. Sewell, G. Gebriel Mohamed, S. Singh, S. Peel, J. Fox, F. Shakib, L. Martinez-Pomares, A. M. Ghaemmaghami. Recognition of the major cat allergen Fel d 1 through the cysteine-rich domain of the mannose receptor determines its allergenicity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.220657

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Cell component involved in triggering cat allergy identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309182104.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2011, March 10). Cell component involved in triggering cat allergy identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309182104.htm
University of Nottingham. "Cell component involved in triggering cat allergy identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309182104.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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