Study gives new insight on inflammation

August 30, 2012

Scientists' discovery of an important step in the body's process for healing wounds may lead to a new way of treating inflammation.

A study published today in details how an international team of researchers led by Monash University's Australian Institute (ARMI) discovered the mechanism, which shuts down the signal triggering the body's initial inflammatory response to injury.

When the body suffers a wound or abrasion, , or leukocytes, travel to the site of the injury to protect the tissue from infection and start repairing the damage. However, this period of inflammation need only be temporary. If the body allows the inflammatory stage to continue for too long, the next phase of healing is compromised.

Previous research identified the initial signal that calls the leukocytes to the site of the injury, but how this early signal was switched off, letting the leukocytes know that they were no longer urgently needed, was unknown. The latest findings show that an enzyme called myeloperoxidase is the key to this process.

The team studied with modified leukocytes and tissues that fluoresced different colours, enabling leukocyte movement and the concentration of to be monitored simultaneously. By observing the tiny, transparent fish under a microscope, the researchers were able to observe individual white blood cells and how they are regulated in the inflammatory phase of the healing process.

Lead researcher Professor Graham Lieschke of ARMI said the findings suggested new possibilities for treating inflammation.

"White blood cell activity is important for determining the balance between repair, scarring and healing. Understanding what regulates leukocyte activity during inflammation should ultimately allow us to manipulate this system and maximise healing and repair," Professor Lieschke said.

"Our research has identified a new pathway to target with anti-inflammatory drugs. There is a significant need for new treatment options as current drugs are not effective in all circumstances."

Professor Lieschke said the findings were especially relevant to understanding and treating the hereditary disease myeloperoxidase deficiency, which affects leukocyte function in approximately one in every 2000 people.

Explore further: Study reveals new form of inflammation

Related Stories

Study reveals new form of inflammation

May 16, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- University of Edinburgh scientists have discovered a previously unknown way in which white blood cells cope with injury and infection.

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.

Blocking inflammation could lead to tailored medical treatments

September 19, 2011
By using a mouse model of inflammation researchers at the University of Calgary have discovered a new class of molecules that can inhibit the recruitment of some white blood cells to sites of inflammation in the body. A provisional ...

Recommended for you

Evidence found of oral bacteria contributing to bowel disorders

October 20, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests certain types of oral bacteria may cause or exacerbate bowel disorders. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes ...

New compound discovered in fight against inflammatory disease

September 22, 2017
A 10-year study by University of Manchester scientists for a new chemical compound that is able to block a key component in inflammatory illness has ended in success.

Asthma researchers test substance from coralberry leaves

September 14, 2017
The coralberry could offer new hope for asthmatics. Researchers at the University of Bonn have extracted an active pharmaceutical ingredient from its leaves to combat asthma, a widespread respiratory disease. In mice, it ...

Respiratory experts urge rethink of 'outdated' asthma categorisation

September 12, 2017
A group of respiratory medicine experts have called for an overhaul of how asthma and other airways diseases are categorised and treated.

New 'biologic' drug may help severe asthma

September 7, 2017
(HealthDay)—A "biologic" drug in development to treat severe asthma reduces the rate of serious attacks by about two-thirds compared to a placebo drug, according to preliminary research findings.

Songbird study shows how estrogen may stop infection-induced brain inflammation

August 31, 2017
The chemical best-known as a female reproductive hormone—estrogen—could help fight off neurodegenerative conditions and diseases in the future. Now, new research by American University neuroscience Professor Colin Saldanha ...

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.