Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism behind development of autoimmune hepatitis identified

Date:
July 23, 2013
Source:
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Summary:
A gene mutation disrupts the activity of certain immune cells and causes the immune system to erroneously attack the liver, according to a new animal study.

A gene mutation disrupts the activity of certain immune cells and causes the immune system to erroneously attack the liver, according to a new animal study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, will provide a new model for studying drug targets and therapies for Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH), a condition for which the only treatment options are short-acting steroids or liver transplant.

T-cells, immune cells created in an organ called the thymus, grow into healthy T-cells with the help of medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs). mTECs act as coaches to T-cells to teach them when to attack tissue that might be harmful and when to leave it alone. T-cells that attack healthy body tissue are programmed to die. Led by Konstantina Alexandropoulos, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Immunology at Mount Sinai, the research team sought to create a model for understanding why certain immune cells called T-cells inappropriately attack healthy tissues in the body, leading to inflammation and autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and AIH.

Dr. Alexandropoulos and her team, consisting of Anthony Bonito, first author and PhD candidate at Mount Sinai and contributing author Costica Aloman, PhD, former Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Liver Diseases at Mount Sinai, created mutations in a gene called Traf6 in a mouse model, which caused depletion of mTECs. The research team hypothesized that without mTECs to coach them, T-cells would aberrantly attack healthy cells. Surprisingly, while the depletion of mTECs did cause an autoimmune reaction, the T-cells homed directly to the liver and attacked it rather than other healthy tissue.

"We thought that deleting Traf6 would trigger an autoimmune reaction due to a depletion of mTECs, but did not expect the autoimmune response to be specific to the liver," said Dr. Alexandropoulos. "These findings provide an exciting new animal model to study AIH. We hope that this research will pave the way for new therapies to address a significant unmet need for people with this disease."

Dr. Alexandropoulos and her team hope to identify and study compounds or proteins that prevent the depletion of mTECs using cells from humans with AIH. Mount Sinai has one of the largest cohort of patients in the country to support research on liver diseases such as AIH.

This research was supported by grants R01 AI49387-01, R56 AI049387-05, and R01 AI068963-01 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, a division of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Mechanism behind development of autoimmune hepatitis identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723134425.htm>.
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. (2013, July 23). Mechanism behind development of autoimmune hepatitis identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723134425.htm
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Mechanism behind development of autoimmune hepatitis identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723134425.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) A study suggests people who follow a "rule of thumb" when pouring wine dispense less than those who don't have a particular amount in mind. 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