Navigation Links
Rutgers team discovers novel approach to stimulate immune cells
Date:5/11/2012

Researchers at Rutgers University have uncovered a new way to stimulate activity of immune cell opiate receptors, leading to efficient tumor cell clearance.

Dipak Sarkar, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and his research team have been able to take a new pharmacological approach to activate the immune cells to prevent cancer growth through stimulation of the opiate receptors found on immune cells.

This work, featured on the cover of the May 11 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, describes two structurally different but functionally similar opioid receptors, Mu- and Delta-opioid receptors. These receptors form protein complexes as either two structurally similar receptors as a homodimerformed by two identical moleculesor two structurally dissimilar protein complexes as a heterodimerformed by ethanol inducementin immune cells. The team pharmacologically fooled these two structurally different but functionally similar opioid receptors to form more homodimers so that opioid peptide increases the immune cells' ability to kill tumor cells.

"The potential for this research can lead to production of endogenous opioids in the brain and the periphery becoming more effective in regulating stress and immune function," says Sarkar.

Opioids, like endorphins, communicate with the immune system, so when there is a deficit of endorphin due to fetal alcohol exposure, alcoholism and drug abuse, anxiety, depression and chronic psychological stress the body undergoes stress shocks and, as Sarkar suggests, causes "immune incompetence."

"Opioids act as the regulator of body stress mechanism, so when endorphins are low, body stress indicators are high," says Sarkar, who directs the Endocrine Research Program at Rutgers and is a faculty member of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies.

"What's new about this latest research is that when we combine the Mu receptor blocker (antagonist) with the Delta receptor stimulator (agonist), the immune cells accrue increased foreign cell-killing ability," explains Sarkar. "This makes the body highly effective in fighting against bacterial infection and tumor growth."

Sarkar believes that combining this opioid antagonist and agonist may have potential therapeutic value in humans for the treatment of immune incompetence, cancer, pain and ethanol-dependent diseases.

Previous research by the Sarkar group showed that replenishing endorphins by cell therapy did prevent many of the stress and immune problems in fetal alcohol-exposed test subjects. However, cell therapy is highly complex, involving the cumbersome process of producing endorphin cells from neural stem cells of patients and can sometimes result in rejection and other issues.

The beginning of the team's interest into how stress causes diseases started with the observation that mothers who suffer from alcohol abuse or with other developmental problems often give birth to children who exhibited hype-stress responses, linked to childhood disease, child abnormality, immune diseases and cancer.

As part of their investigation, the Sarkar research team learned that the endogenous opioid system in the brain is abnormal in kids and adults who demonstrate hyper-stress responses.

"With the link between hyper-stress responses and manifested immune issues, the goal has been to replenish the opioid deficit in the brain and lead to an effective therapy for immune and other diseases," explained Sarkar.

The team also found that when people consume alcohol, the effectiveness of the body's ability to defend against viral and bacterial invasion, and fight against cancer decreases.

"The overall goal of our research program is to increase our understanding of and develop new therapy for the treatment of cancer, immune and other alcoholism-induced diseases," says Sarkar.

They hope that the promise of their novel pharmacological approach that modifies the activity of the opioid receptors of immune cells brings them one step closer in the long road to therapeutic advances.


'/>"/>

Contact: Paula Walcott-Quintin
quintin@aesop.rutgers.edu
848-932-4204
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Snowmen Notwithstanding, It's Time To Register For Rutgers' Summer Session
2. Rutgers University Offers Fundamentals of Finance and Accounting Workshop at Mount Laurel, New Jersey Location Aimed at Non-Financial Managers
3. Rutgers historian puts 50th anniversary of the pill into cultural medicine cabinet
4. Rutgers Stem Cell Research Center derives new cell lines and trains stem cell scientists
5. Dr. Carl Djerassi, inventor of The Pill, to receive honorary doctorate from Rutgers University
6. Rutgers and the Prostate Net host prostate cancer symposium, May 15
7. Reality TV, cosmetic surgey linked, says Rutgers-Camden researcher
8. Rutgers researchers discover how HIV resists AZT
9. Political wins celebrated with porn, says Rutgers-Camden Researcher
10. Rutgers study: Third of N.J. immigrant children, many adult newcomers lack health insurance
11. Rutgers Study: When it comes to use of dental services, not all NJ youngsters are equal
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Rutgers team discovers novel approach to stimulate immune cells
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... After enjoying record-breaking ... registration today for its 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference, March 2-3, ... theme of the conference is “Persistent Challenges and New Opportunities: Using Research to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Mirixa Corporation , a ... other pharmacist-delivered patient care services, has announced the promotions of Karen Litsinger to ... president of sales. , Litsinger joined Mirixa in 2008 after serving as ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Premier Fitness Camp (PFC) and The ... ultimate weight loss and wellness program, at their world headquarters of Omni La Costa ... and long-term results to anyone seeking weight loss, personal development, a healthy lifestyle, or ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., ... for adherence to the highest standards of trauma, maternity, cancer and chronic obstructive ... president and CEO, Dr. Daniel Messina. , Among the recognitions, the American College ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Healthcare is in flux. The ... for the mass media launching of story movements to highlight what's most unfair ... unfortunate experiences; such a movement can generate the network power to improve healthcare ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Trends - Adhesion Type, Application, Usability - Forecast to 2025" ... , ... Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 3.2% ... market is witnessing include advancements in extracellular microelectrode arrays and intracellular ...
(Date:12/8/2016)...   TriNetX , the health research network, ... signed a membership agreement to join the network ... cures. The TriNetX network is comprised ... globally, biopharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) ... site selection, patient recruitment, and collaborative research across ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Pennsylvania Physician General ... Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis ... medications, known as benzodiazepines, developed with the help ... are medications that are frequently prescribed for anxiety ... are used with opioid pain medications, benzodiazepines pose ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: