Immune cells, 'macrophages' become activated by body temperature

April 9, 2012

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."

Explore further: A TRP that makes our cells feel hyper

Related Stories

A TRP that makes our cells feel hyper

March 8, 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 ...

Researchers discover how cells limit inflammation in lung injury

December 14, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have found in an animal model of acute lung injury a molecular mechanism that allows cells of the immune system to reduce tissue ...

Hydrogen peroxide provides clues to immunity, wound healing and tumor biology

November 21, 2011
Hydrogen peroxide isn't just that bottled colorless liquid in the back of the medicine cabinet that's used occasionally for cleaning scraped knees and cut fingers.

Recommended for you

Accounting for human immune diversity increases clinical relevance of fundamental immunological research

July 26, 2017
Mouse models have advanced our understanding of immune function and disease in many ways but they have failed to account for the natural diversity in human immune responses. As a result, insights gained in the lab may be ...

Study sheds light on how body may detect early signs of cancer

July 26, 2017
Fresh insights into how cells detect damage to their DNA - a hallmark of cancer - could help explain how the body keeps disease in check.

How genetically engineered viruses develop into effective vaccines

July 26, 2017
Lentiviral vectors are virus particles that can be used as a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to fight against specific pathogens. The vectors are derived from HIV, rendered non-pathogenic, and then engineered to carry ...

Does your child really have a food allergy?

July 24, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many people misunderstand what food allergies are, and even doctors can be confused about how to best diagnose them, suggests a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Genetic immune deficiency could hold key to severe childhood infections

July 18, 2017
A gene mutation making young children extremely vulnerable to common viruses may represent a new type of immunodeficiency, according to a University of Queensland researcher.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?

July 18, 2017
What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma in adults? This can be tricky because asthma can stem from several causes and treatment often depends on what is triggering the asthma.

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.