Navigation Links
How immune cells use steroids

Hinxton, 8 May 2014 Researchers at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have discovered that some immune cells turn themselves off by producing a steroid. The findings, published in Cell Reports, have implications for the study of cancers, autoimmune diseases and parasitic infections.

If you've ever used a steroid, for example cortisone cream on eczema, you'll have seen first-hand how efficient steroids are at suppressing the immune response. Normally, when your body senses that immune cells have finished their job, it produces steroids but which cells actually do that?

In this latest study, scientists looked at Th2 immune cells during parasitic infection and saw that at a certain point, these cells produce a steroid called pregnenolone.

"We were really surprised to see that these immune cells are producing a steroid. In cell culture, we see that the steroids play a part in regulating T cell proliferation," says Bidesh Mahata in the Teichmann group at EMBL-EBI and Sanger, who designed the study. "We had already seen that T-helper cells were producing steroids, but initially we were blind what was going on?"

"Because we had access to data from single-cell sequencing experiments, we could conduct deep statistical analyses on a very large and comprehensive dataset," explains Sarah. "That pointed us to the genes involved in pregnenolone production at the point when Th2 cells are being produced, and we could deduce that the Th2 cells themselves were involved in immunosuppression."

The researchers suggest that bringing the immune system back into balance is an intrinsic part of this particular immune response.

"We confirmed our findings experimentally, showing that pregnenolone inhibits both Th cell proliferation and B cell immunoglobulin class switching," adds Bidesh. "We think this points to the idea that Th2 cells differentiate into steroid-producing cells as part of a larger mechanism to bring the immune system back into balance."


Contact: Sonia Furtado Neves
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. Immune cells outsmart bacterial infection by dying, Penn Vet study shows
2. New experimental vaccine produces immune response against MERS virus
3. Low cholesterol in immune cells tied to slow progression of HIV
4. Low cholesterol in immune cells slows HIV progression
5. For an immune cell, microgravity mimics aging
6. Some immune cells defend only 1 organ
7. New method isolates immune cells for researchers to study how they ward off oral diseases
8. Sensitive balance in the immune system
9. La Jolla Institute discovers new mechanism for unleashing immune system against cancer
10. Immune cell defenders could beat invading bacteria
11. Newly discovered molecule may offer hope for immune disorders and runaway inflammation
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
How immune cells use steroids
(Date:11/18/2015)... PHILADELPHIA , Nov. 18, 2015  As new ... in children, doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges ... counsel families and patients. In addition, as more children ... into a patient,s adulthood and old age. ... The Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions ... has joined its Board of Directors. ... Board after recently retiring from the partnership at TPG ... 107 companies with over $140 Billion in revenue.  He ... improvement across all the TPG companies, from 1997 to ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has entered into ... and Harvard for use of its ArxLab cloud-based ... tools. The partnership will support the institute,s efforts ... chemical research information internally and with external collaborators. ... for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 Studies reveal ... human plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment ... cats     --> ... diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood ... collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong and ... (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to continue ... following review of the final interim efficacy and ... Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated castration- ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... PORTLAND, Oregon , November 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Deep Market Research Report is a professional and ... Genomics industry.      (Logo: ... basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, ... analysis is provided for the international markets including ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf ... the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section ... her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension ...
Breaking Biology Technology: