Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New molecule discovered in fight against allergy

Date:
February 15, 2012
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new molecule that could offer the hope of new treatments for people allergic to the house dust mite.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have discovered a new molecule that could offer the hope of new treatments for people allergic to the house dust mite.

The team of immunologists led by Dr Amir Ghaem-Maghami and Professor Farouk Shakib in the University's School of Molecular Medical Sciences have identified the molecule DC-SIGN which appears to play a role in damping down the body's allergic response to the house dust mite.

The molecule can be found on the surface of the immune cells which play a key role in the recognition of a major allergen from house dust mites called Der p 1, a leading cause of asthma in northern Europe. The recognition of the allergen by the immune system is thought to lead to on-going sensitisation and the development of allergic symptoms.

The discovery furthers our understanding of how the body's immune system identifies and reacts to allergens, which could ultimately pave the way for developing new therapies or treatments for preventing allergies.

It's especially good news for the millions of people with asthma whose condition is worsened by their allergy to house dust mite and other environmental allergens. House dust mite droppings contain a whole raft of allergens that trigger a reaction when they become airborne and are inhaled.

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, mortality and morbidity of allergic asthma has remained high, and most therapies target symptoms rather than curing the condition.

"Many people with asthma are highly sensitive to airborne allergens such as those from house dust mite -- in fact, many studies have shown that up to 80 per cent of people with asthma are allergic to house dust mite.

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

Allergy is a disorder caused by the body's immune system reacting to harmless substances found in the environment, known as allergens. Believing itself under attack, the immune system produces an antibody called IgE, which eventually leads to the 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, published this week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, has focused on the role of DC-SIGN, a receptor found on the surface of antigen presenting cells. These cells are among the first cells in the immune system that come into contact with allergens.

The team found that DC-SIGN binds to major allergen from house dust mite (Der p 1) and dogs (Can f 1) and seems to play a regulatory role in the allergic response to house dust mite allergens. The binding of allergen to DC-SIGN on antigen presenting cells seems to promote a mechanism that could dampen harmful immune responses to allergens.

This is opposite to the role of another allergen reception -- the mannose receptor -- that has previously been identified by the Nottingham group.

The discovery shows that DC-SIGN could potentially play a beneficial role in regulating immune responses to environmental allergens.


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, J. Mahdavi, F. Shakib, A. M. Ghaemmaghami. Retagging identifies dendritic cell-specific ICAM3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) as a novel receptor for a major allergen from house dust mite. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.312520

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "New molecule discovered in fight against allergy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120215082938.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2012, February 15). New molecule discovered in fight against allergy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120215082938.htm
University of Nottingham. "New molecule discovered in fight against allergy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120215082938.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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