Scientists discover new inflammatory target

May 9, 2012
Primary cilia

(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have found a new therapeutic target to combat inflammation.

The research, published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, revealed tiny organelles called are important for regulating . The findings could lead to potential therapies for millions of people who suffer from .

Dr Martin Knight who led the research at Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science said: “Although primary cilia were discovered more than a century ago, we’re only beginning to realise the importance they play in different diseases and conditions, and the potential therapeutic benefits that could be developed from manipulating cilia structure and function.”

The researchers investigated the role of primary cilia in inflammation. They took cartilage cells and exposed them to a group of inflammatory proteins called cytokines, specifically interleukin-1 (IL-1), to see whether there were any changes to the primary cilia.

“When we exposed the cells to IL-1, in just three hours the primary cilia showed a 50 per cent increase in length,” he said.

“But what was most interesting was when we treated cells to prevent this elongation of the cilium. The cartilage had a greatly reduced response to the inflammatory proteins and were therefore not as inflamed. This suggests a brand new for inflammation.”

Co-author Dr Angus Wann, said this is the first time primary cilia have been suggested as a target for novel therapies to reduce the effects of inflammation.

“If we can work out how to better manipulate the primary cilium, we could potentially attenuate or even prevent inflammation,” he said.

Explore further: Scientists study cilia -- microscopic hair

More information: ‘Primary cilia elongation in response to interleukin-1 mediates the inflammatory response‘ is published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. DOI:10.1007/s00018-012-0980-y


Related Stories

Scientists study cilia -- microscopic hair

May 5, 2006

Texas scientists studying microscopic hairs called cilia say they found an internal structure that's responsible for a cell's response to external signals.

Primary cilium as cellular 'GPS system' crucial to wound repair

December 17, 2008

The primary cilium, the solitary, antenna-like structure that studs the outer surfaces of virtually all human cells, orient cells to move in the right direction and at the speed needed to heal wounds, much like a Global Positioning ...

Researchers identify new role for cilia protein in mitosis

April 4, 2011

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have described a previously unknown role for the cilia protein IFT88 in mitosis, the process by which a dividing cell separates its chromosomes containing the ...

Connecting cilia: Cellular antennae help cells stick together

April 24, 2012

Primary cilia are hair-like structures which protrude from almost all mammalian cells. They are thought to be sensory and involved in sampling the cell's environment. New research, published in BioMed Central's open access ...

Recommended for you

Stop the rogue ADAM gene and you stop asthma

July 21, 2016

Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a potential and novel way of preventing asthma at the origin of the disease, a finding that could challenge the current understanding of the condition.

Scientists reveal cellular clockwork underlying inflammation

August 27, 2015

Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have uncovered key cellular functions that help regulate inflammation—a discovery that could have important implications for the treatment of allergies, ...

0 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.