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A novel mechanism that regulates pro-inflammatory cells is identified
Date:8/10/2011

s study also underscore the local tissue environment in modulating the function of T cells. The researchers speculate that the Th17 cells sense the micro-environment for signs of inflammation, which can be caused by bacterial infections, and accordingly decide how potently they should respond. However, if the inflammatory milieu is unregulated or triggered by self-antigens and sustained by local cells, Th17 cells can cause in responses that are either unwanted or not proportionate to the external insults. So manipulating the novel regulatory mechanisms discovered in this study could lead to more specific treatments that can fine-tune the imbalance of the immune responses.

"An immune response mediated by Th17 cells is dangerous like a double-edged sword, they can do more harm than good if not controlled. We now know what excites Th17 cells to be armed. If we can find drugs that can turn this pathway on and off, we could potentially induce them when needed and prevent their unwanted responses that results in autoimmune diseases," said Dr. Unutmaz.


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Contact: Christopher Rucas
christopher.Rucas@nyumc.org
212-404-3525
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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