Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Important control mechanism behind autoimmune diseases discovered

Date:
March 1, 2013
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new control mechanism in our immune system. The discovery is of potential significance to the treatment of serious diseases such as MS (multiple sclerosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus).

Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have discovered a new control mechanism in our immune system. The discovery is of potential significance to the treatment of serious diseases such as MS (multiple sclerosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus).

"Now that we've started to understand the regulatory mechanisms involved in these autoimmune diseases, we are hopeful that new treatments can be found," says Mikael Karlsson, associate professor at the Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Solna, and one of the team behind the study now published in the highly reputed periodical, The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

An important component of our immune defence is a type of cell called a B cell. Normally, the job of these cells is to produce antibodies, which in turn bind to and neutralise invasive microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. In people with an autoimmune disease, explains Dr Karlsson, these B cells actually have an injurious effect and instead of serving the body, are activated against its own tissues, which they start to break down.

Patients with SLE and other autoimmune diseases have lower levels of so-called NKT cells. Previously, it was not known what part these cells play in the origin and development of the disease; now, however, the research group at KI has shown that this deficiency is a contributory pathogenic factor.

"We've demonstrated that NKT cells can regulate how B cells become activated against healthy tissue, and that a lack of NKT cells results in greater misguided B cell activation," says Dr Karlsson. "So now we can mechanically link the NKT cell defect in patients to the disease."

The study also shows that the NKT cells directly impede faulty B cell activation, and that they do so early in the misdirected process. The team managed to inhibit the activity of pathogenic B cells by adding NKT cells -- a result that may one day lead to new types of treatment.

"This means that new treatments specifically targeting the protective NKT cells can help this patient group," concludes Dr Karlsson.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. F. Wermeling, S. M. Lind, E. D. Jordo, S. L. Cardell, M. C. I. Karlsson. Invariant NKT cells limit activation of autoreactive CD1d-positive B cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2010; 207 (5): 943 DOI: 10.1084/jem.20091314

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Important control mechanism behind autoimmune diseases discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130301085633.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2013, March 1). Important control mechanism behind autoimmune diseases discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130301085633.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Important control mechanism behind autoimmune diseases discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130301085633.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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