Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How immune system, inflammation may play role in Lou Gehrig's disease

Date:
June 5, 2012
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Summary:
In an early study, researchers found that the immune cells of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, may play a role in damaging the neurons in the spinal cord. ALS is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

In the ALS spinal cord, a patient's own immune cells called macrophages (green) impact neurons (live neurons =red, which are also marked by an asterisk (*), and dead neurons = magenta that are marked by an arrow.
Credit: University of California, Los Angeles

In an early study, UCLA researchers found that the immune cells of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, may play a role in damaging the neurons in the spinal cord. ALS is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

Related Articles


Specifically, the team found that inflammation instigated by the immune system in ALS can trigger macrophages -- cells responsible for gobbling up waste products in the brain and body -- to also ingest healthy neurons. During the inflammation process, motor neurons, whether healthy or not, are marked for clean-up by the macrophages.

In addition, the team found that a lipid mediator called resolvin D1, which is made in the body from the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, was able to "turn off" the inflammatory response that made the macrophages so dangerous to the neurons. Resolvin D1 blocked the inflammatory proteins being produced by the macrophages, curbing the inflammation process that marked the neurons for clean-up. It inhibited key inflammatory proteins like IL-6 with a potency 1,100 times greater than the parent molecule, DHA. DHA has been shown in studies to be neuroprotective in a number of conditions, including stroke and Alzheimer's disease.

For the study, the team isolated macrophages from blood samples taken from both ALS patients and controls and spinal cord cells from deceased donors.

The study findings on resolvin D1 may offer a new approach to attenuating the inflammation in ALS. Currently, there is no effective way of administering resolvins to patients, so clinical research with resolvin D1 is still several years away. The parent molecule, DHA, is available in stores, although it has not been tested in clinical trials for ALS. Studies with DHA are in progress for Alzheimer's disease, stroke and brain injury and have been mostly positive.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Guanghao Liu, Milan Fiala, Mathew T Mizwicki, James Sayre, Larry Magpantay, Avi Siani, Michelle Mahanian, Madhuri Chattopadhay, Antonio La Cava, Martina Wiedau-Pazos. Neuronal phagocytosis by inflammatory macrophages in ALS spinal cord: inhibition of inflammation by resolvin D1. American Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease, 2012 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences. "How immune system, inflammation may play role in Lou Gehrig's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605121704.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences. (2012, June 5). How immune system, inflammation may play role in Lou Gehrig's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605121704.htm
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences. "How immune system, inflammation may play role in Lou Gehrig's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605121704.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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