Navigation Links
Study helps explain how allergic reactions are triggered
Date:1/14/2008

BOSTON In demonstrating that a group of calcium ion channels play a crucial role in triggering inflammatory responses, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have not only solved a longstanding molecular mystery regarding the onset of asthma and allergy symptoms, but have also provided a fundamental discovery regarding the functioning of mast cells. Their findings appear in the January 2008 issue of Nature Immunology.

A group of immune cells found in tissues throughout the body, mast cells were once exclusively known for their role in allergic reactions, according to the studys lead author Monika Vig, PhD, an investigator in the Department of Pathology at BIDMC and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Mast cells store inflammatory cytokines and compounds [including histamine and heparin] in sacs called granules, she explains. When the mast cells encounter an allergen pollen, for example they degranuate, releasing their contents and triggering allergic reactions.

But, she adds, in recent years, scientists have uncovered numerous other roles for mast cells, suggesting they are key to a number of biological processes and are involved in diseases ranging from multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis to cancer and atherosclerosis.

In order for mast cells to function, they require a biological signal specifically, calcium. Calcium moves in and out of the cells by way of ion channels known as CRAC (calcium-release-activated calcium) currents. Last year, several research groups, including Vigs, identified CRACM1 as being the exact gene that was encoding for this calcium channel.

With the identification of this long-elusive gene, we were able to create a knockout mouse that lacked CRACM1, and [as predicted] these animals proved to be resistant to various stimuli that usually cause severe allergic reactions, she explains. Further experiments demonstrated that mast cells removed from the CRACM1 knockouts were not able to take in calcium, and therefore, were unable to provoke allergic responses when they were exposed to allergens.

These findings provide the genetic demonstration that CRAC channels are essential in mast-cell activation, notes senior author Jean-Pierre Kinet, MD, BIDMC Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. This provides the proof of concept that an inhibitor of the CRAC channel should be able to impact mast-cell related diseases, including asthma and allergic diseases.

Adds Vig, Since mast cells are also known to contribute to the progression of several other debilitating diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, an inhibitor of the CRAC channel could, in the future, help in slowing the progression of these diseases as well as alleviate disease symptoms.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that ... has secured the final acceptance by all three ... Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have ... installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company , ... Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will be ... able to ask questions via voice or text and receive ... Marketers have long sought an advertising ... that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... will join the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business ... strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers ... the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of ... beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... - FACIT has announced the creation of a ... Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), to ... of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of ... an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential ... patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
Breaking Biology Technology: