Navigation Links
Researchers identify components that keep immune system in check

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Within the immune system, a subtle balance exists between the cells that destroy alien pathogens and those that preserve the body's own tissues. When the balance gets out of whack, the cells that normally target viruses or bacteria can go astray, attacking innocent cells and causing autoimmune and inflammatory disease.

Now, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have revealed the genetic underpinnings of the cells called Foxp3-expressing regulatory T cells or Tregs that can prevent the immune response from turning cannibalistic. Their finding lends insight into these key cells, which are currently being tested as treatments for diseases such as type I diabetes, arthritis and lupus.

"Understanding how the immune system is controlled can give people a better, bigger picture of how these diseases can emerge and could help us find more effective therapies in the future," said senior study author Yisong Y. Wan, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the UNC School of Medicine.

The study, published online Sept. 15, 2011, in the journal Immunity, is the first to implicate a regulatory switch known as GATA-3 in Treg function and immune tolerance. The factor was known to regulate another type of immune cell, called a type-2 helper T cell, but its role in Tregs was unknown.

So Wan and his colleagues looked to see what would happen if they deleted the GATA-3 gene specifically in Tregs of mice. They found that the mutant mice developed a spontaneous inflammatory disorder, with abnormal immune cell invasion into tissues (Images). When they delved deeper, the scientists discovered that the Tregs were no longer able to suppress the immune system like they should. The researchers then traced this defect through the chain of command, from the Foxp3 that regulates Treg function (hence the name Foxp3-expressing regulatory T cells), up to the GATA-3 that regulates Foxp3.

Having uncovered this previously unknown function of GATA-3, Wan would now like to see what else this important master regulator may be controlling in immune cells. In particular, he is looking for components of the immune system that could be potential targets for correcting the underlying defects that lead to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.


Contact: Les Lang
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers identify potential molecular target to prevent growth of cancer cells
2. Cleveland Clinic researchers awarded NIH grant to study concussion-identifying blood test
3. Moffitt researchers find possible key to preventing chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer
4. $1.1 million grant targets disparities among medical researchers
5. Yale researchers use uterine stem cells to treat diabetes
6. Clemson researchers using interactive vision tool for driving studies
7. Researchers utilize neuroimaging to show how brain uses objects to recognize scenes
8. Researchers focus on secondary stroke prevention after study reveals room for improvement
9. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers use new tool to counter multiple myeloma drug resistance
10. Researchers find process that clears cholesterol and could reverse major cause of heart attack
11. Aerobic exercise may reduce the risk of dementia, Mayo Clinic researchers say
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Researchers identify components that keep immune system in check
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan that ... the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , All ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due ... up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away ... a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice ... States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm ... Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Bracket , a leading ... next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, ... June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment ... Astellas Farma Brasil as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... General Manager of Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 The vast majority of dialysis ... facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with ... including travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This ... grueling for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many ... and rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: