New study may hold promise for future disease therapies

June 1, 2009

Linking genetic material microRNAs with cells that regulate the immune system could one day lead to new therapies for treating cancer, infections and autoimmune diseases, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Qing-Sheng Mi, M.D., Ph.D., the study's senior author and director of Henry Ford's Immunology Program, says their findings are important because it shows for the first time an association between microRNAs and a key subset of immune regulatory in the body, natural killer (NKT), which are known to lead to autoimmune diseases and cancer.

The study is being published June 1 in the .

"While further studies are needed, we believe this provides important insight about how microRNAs can regulate NKT cells, and signals a major step forward in biology science for looking at new therapies for treating some chronic immune disease," Dr. Mi says.

MicroRNAs are short strands of that researchers believe perform a vital role in healthy development by turning off . NKT cells potent regulators of diverse immune responses in the body.

By genetically modifying mice with specific deletion microRNAs in hematopoietic stem cells, Henry Ford researchers showed that the lack of microRNAs can block the development and function of normal NKT cells.

If researchers are successful at identifying unique microRNA that specifically regulate NKT cells, Dr. Mi, it could lead to new treatment therapies for some chronic disease.

Source: Henry Ford Health System (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Lab grown human colons change study of GI disease

June 22, 2017

Scientists used human pluripotent stem cells to generate human embryonic colons in a laboratory that function much like natural human tissues when transplanted into mice, according to research published June 22 in Cell Stem ...

Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit masculinity

June 22, 2017

Paracetamol is popular for relieving pain. But if you are pregnant, you should think twice before popping these pills according to the researchers in a new study. In an animal model, Paracetamol, which is the pain-relieving ...

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.