Navigation Links
Trauma drama: K-State professor researches drama queen of immune system

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- Kansas State University's Sherry Fleming is investigating the factor that initiates the immune system's "drama queen": the one responsible for intestinal cell damage after hemorrhage.

Fleming, an associate professor in the Division of Biology, is using a $140,000 grant from the American Heart Association to identify the molecule responsible for the overreaction that can cause cell death in the intestines after trauma.

"What's starting this drama queen situation? A 13-year-old girl doesn't usually become a drama queen without a reason. There's something that initiated the drama -- clothes, shoes, make-up, movies, etc.," Fleming said. "With hemorrhage, we're looking for the initiating factor in the drama which occurs after trauma."

After a traumatic event, such as the loss of a limb or severe bleeding, the body cuts off blood flow to the intestines, sending more blood to the vital organs like the heart, lungs and brain, Fleming said. During that time, cells in the gut release molecular markers to let the body know that they are not getting oxygen.

After the trauma is resolved, blood flow is returned to the gut and a protein in the blood -- known as beta2 glycoprotein 1 in mice and apolipoprotein H in humans -- binds to the molecular marker on the cell to notify antibodies that there is a problem. The antibodies then activate a cascade of proteins, known as complement, that normally help the immune system by killing bacteria and helping rid tissues of dying cells. However, after a trauma this system can overreact and unnecessarily kill healthy cells.

"If you've been in a car accident and sever an arm or start hemorrhaging, you want complement there to protect you from bacteria. So we don't want to stop all complement action entirely," Fleming said.

But Fleming is looking for a way to interrupt the chain of events leading to the over activation of complement following a traumatic event, because trauma patients often develop further complications throughout their body due to the activation of complement, she said.

"Many times trauma patients who have lost a lot of blood will end up with acute respiratory distress syndrome or multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, due to the complement system overreacting," Fleming said. "So they not only have to deal with the trauma, but also with their immune system attacking things that it shouldn't."

As a possible solution, Fleming and her lab group have developed a peptide that takes the place of the beta2 protein in binding to the molecular marker on the cell's surface, thus preventing the activation of complement.

"This treatment is a promising solution," Fleming said. "The funding from the American Heart Association will give us the opportunity to make major progress in this research."


Contact: Sherry Fleming
Kansas State University

Related biology news :

1. Risk factors predictive of psychiatric symptoms after traumatic brain injury
2. Can traumatic memories be erased?
3. Cephalopods experience massive acoustic trauma from noise pollution in the oceans
4. Traumatizing your DNA
5. UTHealth studies cord blood stem cells for pediatric traumatic brain injury
6. Drug prevents post-traumatic stress syndrome
7. Sangart, Inc. Announces Cooperative Research and Development Agreement With the U.S. Navy to Evaluate MP4 Molecule in Traumatic Brain Injury
8. Study provides treatment hope for long term effects of brain trauma
9. Boston Univ., Veterans Affairs find sports brain trauma may cause disease mimicking ALS
10. Post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed with magnetism
11. New study finds way to stop excessive bone growth following trauma or surgery
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/9/2016)...  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the ... employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a ... the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making ... aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in ... Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio ... practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 ... evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal ... sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. ... whole genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today ... a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an ... paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: