Immune cells can be altered to help fight inflammatory diseases, research finds
(Medical Xpress)—A fundamental mechanism controlling cells of the human immune system could be key to helping fight inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, new research at the University of Dundee has found.
The research by Dr Kris Clark, in the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit (MRC-PPU) at Dundee, concentrated on the activity of macrophages, which are cells of the immune system that defend the body against infection by bacteria and viruses.
Dr Clark found that an enzyme called SIK is active in suppressing the production of anti-inflammatory molecules. By 'switching off' the function of SIK within the cell, he was able to greatly enhance the production of beneficial anti-inflammatory molecules.
The research suggests that drugs that switch off SIK may improve current therapies for treating inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
"These are very exciting times for our research," said Dr Clark. "This discovery represents the first link between SIK and inflammation. My immediate future goal is to characterize in more detail the roles that SIK plays in the immune system and how they are affected by compounds that switch off this enzyme."
The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Macrophages are cells of the immune system that defend the body against infection by bacteria and viruses. However, once these invading pathogens have been destroyed, the inflammatory responses triggered by macrophages have to be stopped, to avoid the development of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Macrophages also play key roles in terminating the inflammatory response by switching on the production of so-called anti-inflammatory molecules.
Kris discovered that the production of anti-inflammatory molecules by macrophages is prevented by an enzyme called SIK and that, by turning off the function of SIK within the cell, he was able to greatly enhance the production of beneficial anti-inflammatory molecules while stopping the production of the molecules that cause inflammation.
Working with the Drug Discovery Unit at Dundee, Dr Clark has now started to develop molecules which could provide the basis for drugs to turn off SIK.
"My studies have greatly benefitted from working in the multi-disciplinary and collegial environment that has been built up in the MRC Unit, the Scottish Institute for Cell Signalling and the College of Life Sciences at Dundee," said Dr Clark. "My interactions with the scientists who work here and the advice they have given me has not only been invaluable for this project, but also most enjoyable."
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Provided by University of Dundee
- Scientists find the 'master switch' for key immune cells in inflammatory diseases Jan 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New research helps explain how tumors go undetected by the body Nov 19, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists shine new light on inflammatory diseases Mar 16, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Discovery improves understanding of early onset inflammatory disease Jul 04, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists find new mechanism by which cell signaling pathway contributes to rheumatoid arthritis development May 20, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
8 hours ago Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
Current leading voltage or vice versa concept
10 hours ago Hello, I was wondering if there is a conceptual explanation for when current leads voltage or vice versa for capacitors or inductors with AC...
Angular Frequency of AC voltage
13 hours ago Hello, I am wondering, what is the physical interpretation of the angular frequency of AC voltage? I don't see the physicality of what the angle...
Modeling Rigid Body - Unsure about Euler angles and angular velocity
13 hours ago I'm modeling a single 3D rigid body in preparation for some more complicated modeling in order to gain a better understanding of Euler angles, the...
Function for a bullet's path
15 hours ago I've been mulling this over all weekend, and I've decided to get some help on this. The problem is writing a function to describe a bullet's path....
Elementary questions relating to Newton's laws of motion
16 hours ago i) If a wall breaks when it gets hit by a cannonball, did the wall exert an equal and opposite force on the cannonball? ii) Would the force...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
The negative effects of poorly controlled asthma symptoms on sleep quality and academic performance in urban schoolchildren has been confirmed in a new study.
Inflammatory disorders 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, report researchers at Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that IBD is associated with a 37 percent greater risk for the disease. ...
Inflammatory disorders May 20, 2013 | 4 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Inflammation is an important response in the body - it helps you to kill off invaders such bacteria that could cause a harmful infection. But if it's chronic or uncontrolled, inflammation can also cause ...
Inflammatory disorders May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
New research by medical students working in the Breathe Well Centre of Research Excellence at the UTAS School of Medicine has revealed swimming has health benefits for young people with asthma, with no adverse effects on ...
Inflammatory disorders May 10, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
An estimated 4,837,000 asthmatics with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) could benefit substantially from antifungal treatment, say researchers from The University of Manchester and the University of Toronto.
Inflammatory disorders May 08, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
31 seconds ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In a remote fishing community in Venezuela, a lone fisherman sits on a cliff overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea. This man –– the lookout –– is responsible for directing his comrades on the water, ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A novel approach to obstructing the runaway inflammatory response implicated in some types of asthma has shown promise in a Phase IIa clinical trial, according to U. S. researchers.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Authorities are investigating rice mills in southern China following tests that found almost half of the staple grain in one of the country's largest cities was contaminated with a toxic metal.
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Delayed transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU) in hospitalized patients significantly increases the risk of dying in the hospital, according to a new study from researchers in Chicago.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0