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JCI online early table of contents: Feb. 15, 2010
Date:2/15/2010

EDITOR'S PICK: Immune system turns on the body in narcolepsy

Individuals with the sleep disorder narcolepsy suffer with excessive daytime sleepiness and attacks of muscle paralysis triggered by strong emotions (a condition known as cataplexy). It is thought that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder that is, it is caused by the individual's immune system attacking certain cells in the body but this has not yet been proven definitively. However, Mehdi Tafti and colleagues, at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, have now identified autoantibodies (immune molecules that target a natural protein in the body rather than a protein from an infectious agent) that target the natural protein Trib2 in narcolepsy patients with cataplexy, suggesting that narcolepsy is indeed an autoimmune disorder.

TITLE: Elevated Tribbles homolog 2specific antibody levels in narcolepsy patients

AUTHOR CONTACT:

Mehdi Tafti
Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Phone: 4121.692.3971; Fax: 4121.692.3965; E-mail: mtafti@unil.ch.

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/41366?key=99222230093dc63d46b3

EDITOR'S PICK: New therapeutic target for most common solid cancer in childhood?

A team of researchers, led by Patrick Mehlen, at Universit de Lyon, France, has identified the protein NT-3 and the cell-surface molecule to which it binds (TrkC) as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of neuroblastoma the most frequent solid tumor in young children by studying human neuroblastoma cells in vitro and after xenotransplantation into mice and chicks.

In the study, NT-3 was found to be expressed at increased levels in aggressive human neuroblastomas and to block the ability of TrkC to induce tumor cell death by a process known as apoptosis. In v
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Contact: Karen Honey
press_releases@the-jci.org
215-573-1850
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Source:Eurekalert

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