Immune cells, 'macrophages' become activated by body temperature

Macrophages playing an important role in the immune system eat and fight against pathogens and foreign substances in the very beginning of infection. In this condition, macrophages produce reactive oxygen species for sterilization. However, the relation with the temperature sensor was not previously known.

Professor Makoto TOMINAGA from National Institute for Physiological Sciences (Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience), National Institutes of Natural Sciences, and his research team member Ms. Makiko KASHIO have identified the mechanism through which TRPM2 is activated by body temperature with hydrogen peroxide (a kind of reactive ) produced by immune reactions. This research result was reported online in the week by .

The research group focused on the relation between hydrogen peroxide and TRPM2. Although TRPM2 is usually activated by high temperature near 48oC in the absence of endogenous , it becomes activated at our normal body temperature with hydrogen peroxide production. It means that hydrogen peroxide works as "a switch" which controls TRPM2 function. In addition, they found that phagocytic activity of was enhanced in the febrile temperature (38.5 C).

Professor TOMINAGA says, "It was also revealed that oxidation of TRPM2 by hydrogen peroxide is involved in the switch-on mechanism and we identified a single amino acid which is oxidized. This newly identified mechanism of TRPM2 regulation may lead to the development of new or drugs for infection. When we are infected with bacteria, we often run a fever, and it is known that body temperature might be important for our immune system. TRPM2 might explain the mechanism through which fever boosts up our immune system."

Provided by National Institute for Physiological Sciences

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A body temperature sensor, TRPM2, promotes insulin secretion

Jan 04, 2011

The research group led by professor Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Kunitoshi Uchida, National institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Japan, found TRPM2 ion channel in pancreatic beta-cells is important for insulin secretion ...

A TRP that makes our cells feel hyper

Mar 08, 2012

A large change in the volume of a cell, from its basal level, is detrimental to its health. Therefore, our cells are equipped with mechanisms to maintain their constant volume. When a cell detects an environmental change ...

Recommended for you

Study unlocks basis of key immune protein's two-faced role

12 hours ago

A Brigham and Women's Hospital-led team has identified a long sought-after partner for a key immune protein, called TIM-3, that helps explain its two-faced role in the immune system—sometimes dampening it, other times stimulating ...

Profilin can induce severe food-allergic reactions

Nov 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Profilins are complete food allergens in food-allergic patient populations that are exposed to high levels of grass pollen, according to a study published in the December issue of Allergy.

Structured education program beneficial for anaphylaxis

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—A structured education intervention improves knowledge and emergency management for patients at risk for anaphylaxis and their caregivers, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Allergy.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.