Navigation Links
NIH scientists find a novel mechanism that controls the development of autoimmunity
Date:8/13/2008

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found a mechanism in the immune systems of mice that can lead to the development of autoimmune disease when turned off. The findings shed light on the processes that lead to the development of autoimmunity and could also have implications for the development of drugs to increase the immune response in diseases such as cancer and HIV. The study paper appears online today in the journal Nature.

The scientists from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), both part of the NIH, studied immune system T cells specifically the helper T cell, an immune system component that helps other cells fight infection. They focused on the protein furin, an enzyme that plays an important role in the functioning of T cells.

Scientists have been limited in their ability to study the protein furin, because other enzymes can perform some of the same functions. Also, furin is essential to life, so scientists have been unable to create a mouse without furin that lives past the embryo stage of development. Since the NIH scientists were unable to see what a mouse without furin would look like, they collaborated with Belgium scientists to create a mouse without furin only in T cells. What they discovered was that mice without furin in these cells developed systemic autoimmune disease. This means that the immune systems of the mice attacked their own cells and tissues throughout their bodies.

"We already know that furin seems to have roles in a variety of human diseases, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and infectious diseases," says lead author Marko Pesu, Ph.D., in the NIAMS' Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch. "These findings show that having no furin in certain immune system cells can increase the immune response and lead to autoimmune disease in mice."

The researchers found that deleting furin in helper T cells affected the functioning of two types of T cells, regulatory and effector T cells. The former cells, also called Tregs, promote immune tolerance to the body's own cells and tissues. Upon further examination, the researchers found that mice lacking furin in Tregs had lower levels of a specific protein, TGF-1, which is produced by these cells and is important for their ability to preserve immune tolerance. However, the researchers noted that effector T cells also produce TGF-1. They found that furin is also needed for TGF-1 production by effector T cells and that the absence of furin in effectors makes these cells more aggressive in causing autoimmune disease and tissue damage.

"Inhibiting furin has been thought to reduce growth of malignant cells or to block infections by preventing essential activation of a pathogen," says study author and NIAMS' Scientific Director John J. O'Shea, M.D., chief of the NIAMS' Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch. "However, these results suggest that the development of drug interventions could have an unexpected side effect of increasing the risk of developing autoimmune disease."


'/>"/>

Contact: Trish Reynolds
patricia.reynolds@nih.gov
301-496-8190
NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists use old enemy to K.O. cancer
2. Distinguished Cardiologists and Scientists Honored With 2008 International Academy of Cardiology Award
3. CSHL neuroscientists glimpse how the brain decides what to believe
4. Scientists measure connection between the built environment and obesity in baby boomers
5. Gladstone scientists identify single microRNA that controls blood vessel development
6. Scientists identify another piece of the weight-control puzzle
7. Scientists Create Mice Resistant to Obesity
8. Scientists Turn Skin Cells Into Motor Neurons in ALS Patients
9. Scientists race to stay ahead of the drug-taking and genetic manipulation that threatens sport
10. Scientists ID Jekyll-Hyde Protein in Lou Gehrigs Disease
11. Scientists identify how gastric reflux may trigger asthma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, ... ... in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, ... system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel ... Cut Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. ... Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include ... in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has ... he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The ... first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is ... associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ... clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as ... or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the ... fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can aid ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to ... patient base that will serve to drive considerable growth for ... would serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... PARK RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... caliber of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders ... hands. The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... refused to let type 1 diabetes stand in the ... Lilly Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: