Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronic inflammation: Slowing down immune system when in overdrive

Date:
February 10, 2014
Source:
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Summary:
Many people suffer from chronic inflammation because their immune systems overreact to 'self' tissue. Scientists believe that a small molecule known as Interleukin 21 is a promising therapeutic target in such cases.

Many people suffer from chronic inflammation because their immune systems overreact to 'self' tissue. Sydney scientists believe that a small molecule known as Interleukin 21 is a promising therapeutic target in such cases.

Related Articles


Interleukin 21 (IL-21) is one of a group of chemical messengers known as 'cytokines', which affect the behavior of immune cells. IL-21 is already well known to play an important role in autoimmune diseases such as Sjφgren's syndrome and type 1 diabetes.

The current study shows how much IL-21 contributes to inflammation. It also shows how important it is to remove IL-21 to reduce inflammation, even where there are other severe immune defects present.

Undertaken at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, researchers used mice genetically deficient in another cytokine (IL-2), a well-established mouse model of autoimmunity. In some mice, the IL-21 cell surface receptor was also genetically removed. In these mice, inflammatory disease was much less severe, demonstrating that IL-21 contributes to fatal inflammatory disease.

Immunologists Associate Professor Cecile King and Dr Alexis Vogelzang, in collaboration with bioinformatics experts Drs Marcel Dinger and Brian Gloss, combined cellular analysis and RNA sequencing to compare genes expressed in the disease model with those expressed in healthy immune cells. The study confirmed that IL-21 is one of the most highly expressed genes in autoimmune disease.

The findings are published in the Journal of Immunology, now online.

"RNA sequencing is an unbiased way of determining differential expression of genes, and this data revealed the proinflammatory gene signature of autoimmune disease and confirmed the extent to which IL-21 is elevated in the absence of IL-2," said Associate Professor King.

"When you remove the IL-2 gene, another group of very calming immune cells known as 'T regulatory cells' also disappear -- because T regulatory cells express high levels of the IL-2 receptor and are IL-2 dependent. Without T regulatory cells, the immune system goes haywire and the body starts attacking itself."

"Under these conditions, IL-21 kicks in and make things much worse."

"When IL-21 is blocked, the huge inflammatory response is greatly subdued, although not entirely eliminated."

"There are many people with chronic inflammation caused by defective T cell regulation, and this research suggests that blocking IL-21 with drugs might help them."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Vogelzang, H. M. McGuire, S. M. Liu, B. Gloss, K. Mercado, P. Earls, M. E. Dinger, M. Batten, J. Sprent, C. King. IL-21 Contributes to Fatal Inflammatory Disease in the Absence of Foxp3 T Regulatory Cells. The Journal of Immunology, 2014; 192 (4): 1404 DOI: 10.4049/%u200Bjimmunol.1302285

Cite This Page:

Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Chronic inflammation: Slowing down immune system when in overdrive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210095406.htm>.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. (2014, February 10). Chronic inflammation: Slowing down immune system when in overdrive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210095406.htm
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Chronic inflammation: Slowing down immune system when in overdrive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210095406.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) 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