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.

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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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