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
Differences of Classical Mechanics when learned with Calc vs algebra?
2 hours ago what are the differences? Every example I find usually has a derivative or integral or some kind of calculus defined concept that seems to make it...
what is the distance traveled
6 hours ago Hi. I have newly started to study mechanical physics. based on study, I conduct a simple experiment. But unfortunately i am unable apply the laws in...
Image of a Convex Lens Cut in Half Horizontally
10 hours ago Hello everyone, A friend of mine came up with this question in class and I really do not have a good answer. Suppose you have a convex lens...
Ray tracing throught optical system of thick lenses
10 hours ago Can you advise me a free software that allow to draw rays passed throught system of thick lenses (preferable in 3D)?
Faraday's law on circular wire
11 hours ago In my examples on Faraday's law in my book, they use a drawing of a magnet approaching a circular wire. The changing magnetic flux then induces an...
Specific Exergy vs Specific Flow Exergy
13 hours ago I'm having some difficulty understanding exactly what the difference between the definitions of these values are. As I understand it, in terms of...
- 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 May 21, 2013 | 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 / 5 (2) | 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 | 5 / 5 (1) | 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
Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes appears to increase the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death among people with high blood sugar, partly by stimulating the production of calprotectin, a protein that sparks ...
Inflammatory disorders May 07, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—For HIV-infected individuals with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, fecal microbiota therapy is feasible, according to a letter published in the May 21 issue of the Annals of Intern ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Calorie information in fast food restaurants used by 40 percent of 9-18 year olds when making food choices
A new study published online today (Thursday) in the Journal of Public Health has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the U.S. in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely ...
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
3 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
An independent panel of experts on Wednesday recommended US approval of a new Merck sleeping pill called suvorexant, but expressed concerns over the highest dosage and risks of drowsy daytime driving.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 2 |