Navigation Links
Natural method for clearing cellular debris provides new targets for lupus treatment

Augusta, Ga. Cells that die naturally generate a lot of internal debris that can trigger the immune system to attack the body, leading to diseases such as lupus.

Now Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report that an enzyme known to help keep a woman's immune system from attacking a fetus also helps block development of these autoimmune diseases that target healthy tissues, such as DNA or joints.

The findings point toward new treatment strategies for autoimmune diseases, which are on the rise in light of a germ-conscious society that regularly destroys many of the previously pervasive microbes that made the immune system more tolerant.

"The basic premise of lupus is you have lost normal tolerance to yourself, your own proteins and DNA," said Dr. Tracy L. McGaha, GHSU immunologist and corresponding author of the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They found that IDO, or indoleomine 2,3-dioxegenase, helps promote tolerance to debris generated by natural cell death and that when IDO is removed from the mix, the debris spurs an immune response that can trigger autoimmune disease. In mice genetically programmed to develop lupus, blocking IDO resulted in earlier, more aggressive disease.

"This connects IDO and macrophages. It's a newly described role for IDO in regulation of tolerance toward self," McGaha said. Consequently, increasing IDO production or its downstream effects might be a way to regain lost tolerance, he said.

They studied activity in the spleen, a hard-working immune organ, that constantly filters blood. In a perfectly orchestrated defense, the entrance to the spleen is surrounded by immune cells that scour blood for viruses, bacteria, even fat and cholesterol floating by.

A nearby subset of macrophages, which are essentially scavengers, then capture and consume the undesirables, McGaha said. Interestingly, a lot of what macrophages consume is dead immune cells.

Macrophages also appear to help keep the peace by preventing the immune system from joining the fray. McGaha earlier found that if he destroyed macrophages, then fed the spleen dead cells, there was inflammation instead of calm. "That tells us there is something inherent in this subset of macrophages that is important for the suppressive process," McGaha said referencing the paper published in 2011 in the journal Blood.

The new paper shows IDO is part of that "something." Efficient elimination of cell debris while keeping nearby immune cells quiet is important because some debris is known to grab the attention of the immune system, McGaha said. He noted that it's normal and healthy for damaged cells to become targets.

"We are really interested in this process of normal cell debris removal because in lupus, it's thought to be one of the main drivers of inflammation," he said.

The immune system has points of expansion and regulation where it decides whether or not to act. Knowing key points, such as IDO's regulatory role, provides treatment targets that can interrupt a destructive cascade of immune activity, McGaha said. Previous studies have shown evidence of self-attack is present many years before disease symptoms appear, he said.

Environmental assaults, such as a bad sunburn, can be the initial trigger of the abnormal immune response in diseases like lupus. In healthy individuals, the immune system rises to the occasion of an infection then goes back to baseline. In autoimmune disease, patients tend not to return to normal levels.

GHSU's Drs. Andrew Mellor and David Munn reported in 1998 in the journal Science that the fetus expresses IDO to help avoid rejection by the mother's immune system. Subsequent studies have shown tumors also use it and that it could help transplanted organs escape rejection. They suggested that McGaha look at IDO as a regulatory mechanism used by macrophages.


Contact: Toni Baker
Georgia Health Sciences University

Related medicine news :

1. Natural enzyme provides potential new approach for treating graft-vs.-host disease
2. A natural dye obtained from lichens may combat Alzheimers disease
3. Natural killer cells could be key to anthrax defense
4. New scarless surgery takes out tumors through natural skull opening
5. BU presents approach to access biorelevant structures by remodeling natural products
6. Natural processes can limit spread of arsenic in water, says study
7. Soy-based natural S-equol supplements improve crows feet skin wrinkles in menopausal women
8. For Kids, Natural Disasters Can Whip Up Worries
9. Bodys natural marijuana-like chemicals make fatty foods hard to resist
10. Study shows pine bark naturally improves heart function
11. Cooling system may build eggs natural defenses against salmonella
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on ... Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability ... fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have ... these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as ... Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken ... regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved ... Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more ... providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 ... GBT ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics ... significant unmet needs, today announced the closing of ... shares of common stock, at the public offering ... shares in the offering were offered by GBT. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin - ... " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" report ... This report focuses on the global market of ... applications in various applications. The report deals with spectroscopy ... industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, and environmental ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: