Navigation Links
A better understanding of the aging immune system
Date:4/4/2011

Our society gets older, people live longer. The price we pay: infectious diseases can easier overcome the immune system. Like all organs, the immune system does not function flawlessly in old age. A new collaboration of university and non-university research institutes and two companies is investigating why our immune defence is getting weaker when we become old. The project "GERONTOSHIELD", funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), now received a 2.6 Million Euro funding for the next three years. "GERONTOSHIELD" is part of the BMBF programme "Systems biology for a better health in old age GerontoSys2" that promotes systems biological approaches to find out the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for ageing. The kick off meeting of the new research network took place at the German Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, Germany, on March 31st and April 1st, 2011.

A better understanding and new approaches to optimize therapies for the elderly in the future is the goal of the scientific partners. The scientific coordination is located at the department of "Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology", headed by Professor Carlos A. Guzmn, at the HZI in Braunschweig.

The immune system has to deal with a loss of cells in old age. Furthermore, the remaining cells react less efficiently to infections or vaccinations. Finally, most drugs are optimized for young adults. "Every tenth person over 65 dies due to the flue," says project coordinator Professor Carlos A. Guzmn. "We still know too little about which changes occur in an ageing immune system." Thus, it is necessary to optimize existing therapies and to develop new approaches to treat diseases in the elderly, says Guzmn.

Here, adjuvants play an important role, chemical compounds that boost the immune system and improve the efficiency of a vaccination. Guzmn and his group want to understand how young and old immune systems react to those adjuvants. "In the end, this knowledge would help to develop new vaccination strategies that are specifically tailored to old people," says Guzmn.

"GERONTOSHIELD" seeks the holistic understanding of these processes at the meeting point of two disciplines: biology and mathematics. On the one hand, researchers investigate how immune responses in young and old mice differ from each other. The results are then transferred onto human cells. Finally, systems biologists generate mathematical models from these data. With these tools, the researchers would like to comprehend what happens in an old organism to identify the underlying mechanisms responsible for altered responses in the elderly. This would enable the development of personalized strategies for the aging population.

"We also seek to identify risk markers predicting increased susceptibility for infectious diseases in the elderly," says Professor Michael Meyer-Hermann, head of the department "Systems Immunology" and co-coordinator of the project. These markers would allow detecting individuals or patients with a high risk for severe disease, thereby enabling to earmark them for specifically tailored therapies for this high risk group, says Meyer-Hermann.

Both researchers are convinced that "GERONTOSHIELD" can significantly contribute to better understand the processes in the ageing immune system and thus be a benefit for the medical care of elderly people in the future.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Bastian Dornbach
bastian.dornbach@helmholtz-hzi.de
49-531-618-11407
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Getting closer to a better biocontrol for garden pests
2. In the race of life, better an adaptable tortoise than a fit hare
3. All wrapped up: K-State researchers graphene cloak protects bacteria, leading to better images
4. MU researcher leads new $6.6 million study that could lead to better corn plants
5. DNA better than eyes when counting endangered species
6. Better brain wiring linked to family genes
7. Planning and visualization lead to better food habits
8. A better way to diagnose pneumonia
9. A loose grip provides better chemotherapy
10. Team looks to the cow rumen for better biofuels enzymes
11. Opposites may attract, but they dont make better parents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016   Veridium , ... the appointment of new CEO James Stickland ... with decades of experience, has served in senior ... where he specialized in expanding a pipeline of ... portfolios. He most recently served as managing director ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 1, 2016 ... (Fingerprint, Voice), Future Technology (Iris Recognition System), Vehicle ... - Global Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... Million in 2016, and is projected to grow ... CAGR of 14.06%.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... 29, 2016   Neurotechnology , a ... recognition technologies, today released FingerCell 3.0, a ... solutions that run on low-power, low-memory microcontrollers. ... less than 128KB of memory, enabling it ... have limited on-board resources, such as: mobile ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Opal Kelly, a leading producer ... using USB or PCI Express, announced the FOMD-ACV-A4, the company's first FPGA-on-Module for ... thin, SODIMM-style module that fits a standard 204-pin SODIMM socket for low-cost integrations ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... KBioBox llc announced today ... demand KbioBox developed a sophisticated “3 click” gene dditing off target analysis program ... new website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ and powered by the company’s proprietary BioEngine. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: ... company focused on developing and commercializing products to ... medical need, announced today the long-term follow-up data ... (dusquetide), a first-in-class Innate Defense Regulator (IDR), in ... and neck cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy (CRT).  ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. Ltd. today announced ... $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round included participation ... and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding brings the ... (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015. ... development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, expand its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: