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Research reveals inner workings of immune system 'thermostat'

nterleukin 12, the furnace side of the system. But what controlled Interleukin 10, the air conditioner?

To find out, Yap and his team conducted a series of experiments in mutant mice infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. They found that Interleukin 10 production by T helper 1 cells is triggered by Interferon-γ***but not directly. Another cell, an antigen presenting cell or APC, sends a stimulatory signal back to the T helper 1 cell, ordering it to make Interleukin 10.

"What we see is that the 'hot' and 'cool' arms of the immune system aren't independently regulated," Yap said. "They talk to each other and respond in a dynamic and coordinated fashion."

Yap said the findings should send a message to drug companies designing and testing tyk2-inhibiting medicines for arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Block tyk2 function, Yap said, and patients will be more prone to infection ?and their arthritis may not be relieved. "There could be a downside to these drugs," he said.
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Source:Brown University


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