Navigation Links
Overabundance of Immune Cells Might Trigger Lupus
Date:2/14/2008

Study spots overactivity of genes that prevent cell death in those with autoimmune disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers from Saint Louis University report that a pile-up of superfluous immune cells might contribute to lupus, a finding which could point to new therapies for the autoimmune disease.

"We're on the precipice of finding new treatments for lupus," said Dr. Jill Buyon, a professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine. "There are a myriad of targets at different levels of the immune system. What we're seeking are therapies that are targeted that would not cause patients to have overwhelming infection [as side effects]. This paper supports the notion that such therapeutic approaches might be possible."

More than 1.5 million Americans have lupus, a disease in which a hyperactive immune system assaults otherwise healthy organs, such as the kidney, brain, heart, lungs and skin, as well as joints and blood.

The current standard of treatment typically involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anti-malarials and steroids.

Immunosuppressive medications -- such as azathioprine and cyclosporine -- are also used to dampen an immune system gone haywire. However, such regimens, while effective, can provoke severe side effects.

"There hasn't been a drug approved [for lupus] by the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] for 40 years," Buyon said. "This is a time of major discovery, probably one of the most exciting times we'll ever see."

The current study, published in the Feb. 15 issue of Immunity, is a small one involving only 14 patients with lupus and an equal number of healthy controls.

Researchers did a genetic analysis of three different types of white blood cells and found that, in patients with more severe lupus, there was an increase in the activity of genes that normally would prevent the death of a cell, compared to the controls.

"There are essentially two death pathways in cells, one that takes signals from the outside of the cell and one from the inside," explained study senior author Harris Perlman, an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Saint Louis University, in St. Louis. Normal cells are given signals to die at certain points to make room for new cells.

Perlman and his colleagues knocked out one gene from each pathway in mice with lupus. "Lo and behold, these mice that have two death pathways knocked out developed massive lupus," he said. "They died at four to five months of age."

Individuals with lupus produce more immune cells that carry too many of the proteins that prevent death. The more immune system cells a patient had, the more severe the disease was.

The next step is to manipulate these genes, or the proteins they produce, to restore a natural life cycle to the cells.

"If you can somehow turn off these anti-death genes then you can restore the balance again," Perlman said. "We have dome preliminary work and seen some positive results. We're not trying to do gene therapy approach. We're going to try to look at protein levels and remove proteins from the equation by inactivating them."

Although it's not clear that this finding specifically will bring relief to some people suffering from lupus, it is emblematic of a new era in research.

"We have a smorgasbord of discovery," Buyon said. "The challenge to industry and clinical trialists is picking and choosing which target to go after, because it costs so much to bring a drug to market."

More information

Visit the Lupus Research Institute for more on what's being done in this field.



SOURCES: Harris Perlman, Ph.D., associate professor, molecular microbiology and immunology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis; Jill Buyon, M.D., professor, medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; Feb. 15, 2008, Immunity


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Bacterial toxin closes gate on immune response, Penn researchers discover
2. A functional immune system can be derived from embryonic stem cells, preliminary study finds
3. Some cases of autism may be traced to the immune system of mothers during pregnancy
4. Researchers discover new battleground for viruses and immune cells
5. MSU researchers make new discoveries on what does and doesnt affect immune system
6. U of M researchers discover a pathway to turn off immune system cells
7. Researchers uncover more about how poxviruses evade the immune system
8. A major step toward a more targeted treatment for auto-immune diseases?
9. Deficient regulators in the immune system responsible for type 1 diabetes
10. Queens immunologists find better way to boost the immune system
11. Immune Therapy May Help Some Heart Failure Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Overabundance of Immune Cells Might Trigger Lupus
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals ... the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early registration for the ... at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The annual iaedp™ Symposium ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a ... waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What ... is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, ... in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program ... investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, Dr. ... Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to suffer ... Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, ... post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an ... has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., ... analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 by ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized ... for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds and ... Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... R.I. , Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... the fields of bioinformatics and immune engineering, ... a protective avian influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... distantly related to seasonal influenza and presents ... rely on prior exposure to be effective. ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017 ... performance ratings for global supply chains, has published the first annual edition ... CSR performance of more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on ... 2015 and 2016. ... EcoVadis Global CSR Risk & Performance Index ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: