Scientists collaborate in discovery of new targets for the treatment of asthma

A collaboration between scientists in Trinity College Dublin and the United Kingdom has identified new processes that lead to the development of a novel cell implicated in allergies. The discovery has the potential for new strategies to treat asthma and other allergic diseases. The research findings have just been published in the leading international journal Nature Immunology.

The work was performed by Professor Padraic Fallon, Science Foundation Ireland Stokes Professor of Translational Immunology of TCD's School of Medicine and Dr Andrew McKenzie of the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

The number of people with allergic disease, such as asthma and , is increasing globally with Irish children having the fourth highest incidence of asthma in the world. A major area of research in developing new strategies to treat is directed towards increasing understanding of the processes and cells involved that cause .

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Professor Fallon and colleagues previously discovered a new white blood cell, the nuocyte, that initiates the early generation of the immune responses that can lead to asthma or other allergic conditions. In this study, a new pathway for the development of nuocytes was identified and a transcription factor, RORalpha, was shown to be critical for both the generation of nucoytes and allergic-like inflammation.

This new finding identifies targets for allergic diseases that could be developed into new therapeutic strategies. Professor Fallon's research on allergies is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, The Wellcome Trust, Health Research Board and National Children's Research Centre, Ireland.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Identified: Switch that turns on allergic disease in people

Jan 20, 2010

A new study in human cells has singled out a molecule that specifically directs immune cells to develop the capability to produce an allergic response. The signaling molecule, called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), is ...

'Stomach flu' may be linked to food allergies

Nov 14, 2011

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have found a possible link between norovirus, a virus that causes "stomach flu" in humans, and food allergies. The findings are published in The Open Immunology Journal, Volume ...

Recommended for you

Rural microbes could boost city dwellers' health

9 hours ago

The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, ...

For an immune cell, microgravity mimics aging

Apr 22, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—Telling someone to "act your age" is another way of asking him or her to behave better. Age, however, does not always bring improvements. Certain cells of the immune system tend to misbehave ...

User comments