Navigation Links
TV crime drama compound highlights immune cells' misdeeds
Date:3/22/2009

St. Louis, March 20, 2009 Detectives on television shows often spray crime scenes with a compound called luminol to make blood glow. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have applied the same compound to much smaller crime scenes: sites where the immune system attacks the body's own tissues.

The authors report in Nature Medicine that injected luminol glows blue at sites of active immune inflammation in living mice, and that they can detect this glow from outside the mice with scientific cameras.

Immune inflammation is thought to be a critical component of arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, atherosclerosis, some forms of cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Imaging such inflammation non-invasively should help scientists better understand and control it, according to the researchers.

"It's quite striking how specific and sensitive this approach is," says senior author David Piwnica-Worms, M.D., Ph.D. "For example, we have evidence that this technique can highlight inflamed tissue that is on the way to becoming cancerous but not yet discernible via visual or tactile inspection."

Piwnica-Worms, professor of radiology and of developmental biology, notes that cardiologists now believe immune inflammation is a key component that makes an arterial plaque dangerous. Such inflammation causes platelets to bind to plaques, leading the plaques to rupture or break away and putting the patient at risk of heart attack, stroke or lung clots.

For now, blood vessels of the chest and torso are too deep within the body to image with this approach. But vessels of the leg and neck are close enough to the skin that the technique may be "directly translatable" to use in human patients, according to Piwnica-Worms.

Lead author Shimon Gross, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow, proposed that luminol might be used to image inflammation when he found earlier studies linking luminol bioluminescence with myloperoxidase (MPO), a protein some types of immune cells use to make bleach during the inflammatory process. When activated, cells known as phagocytes use MPO to make the bleach in pockets. They seek out and swallow invaders, and then push the invaders into these bleach-filled pockets to kill them.

In television dramas like CSI, detectives spray a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and luminol onto crime scenes. The mixture reacts with iron from blood, which in that context acts a catalyst, causing the luminol to glow. In the living body, though, iron isn't as accessible. The iron in hemoglobin, for example, is still inside red blood cells and is often bound to oxygen, blocking the reaction with luminol.

Gross and Piwnica-Worms realized this only after their initial experiments. They injected luminol into mice anticipating that they would need a way to distinguish immune inflammation from other processes that might also cause the luminol to luminesce. Instead, they found the compound only glowed at sites of immune inflammation involving MPO.

"Everything's kept compartmentalized when it's still in the body," says Piwnica-Worms. "When it comes to making luminol glow, the only places where all the necessary ingredients come together in concentrated form in the living body are in active phagocytes containing MPO."

When scientists dabbed an irritant onto the ears of normal mice and injected luminol, immune cells that migrated to the irritation site glowed. But in mice lacking the MPO gene supplied by Jay Heinecke, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Seattle, no glow could be detected.

To further test the new technique, Lee Ratner, M.D., Ph.D., of Washington University School of Medicine, provided a line of mice that models a type of tumor known to be rife with active immune cells. Injected luminol not only lit up established tumors, it also highlighted areas of inflammation that weeks later would become tumors.

Scientists also used the technique to show inflammation in a mouse model of acute arthritis. Piwnica-Worms speculates that applying luminol in this context could improve arthritis patient management and enable rapid assessment of the effectiveness of new treatments.

Piwnica-Worms and his colleagues are currently working to modify luminol chemically to improve its clinical potential.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds most adolescents sent to group homes still involved with drugs/crime seven years later
2. USMC Crime Scene Cleaners Draw On Iraq Experience as Biotrauma, Inc.
3. Economic Bad Times Put Minorities at Higher Crime Risk
4. Credit Card Companies Fueling Healthcare Associated Identity Theft (HAIT) Crimes
5. Crime Scene Investigation methods could help in the battle against hospital infections
6. Legal Aid Provides Access to Justice for Victims of Violent Crime
7. Crime Boss Gene May Spur Breast Cancer
8. ViewPoint Bank Funds Senior Crimestoppers Program at Meadows Health and Rehab Center in Dallas
9. Mens Stroke Risk Rises Dramatically in Mid-40s
10. Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers Achieve Dramatic Improvements in Financial Infrastructures With Velos eResearch and Net.Orange Systems
11. NADP Study Reports Dramatic Increase in Value of Dental Benefits
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... The new knee compression sleeves ... to buy neoprene knee sleeves for lifting and any sport that requires ... on two main aspects to provide a higher quality knee sleeve performance. Firstly it ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... today that they have teamed up with The American College of Surgeons (ACS) ... ACS’s Committee on Trauma, the “Bleeding Control Basic” course is a pilot program ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 03, 2016 , ... ... and many more tools allowing FCPX editors to create professional looking video in ... , Perfect Harmony contains a beautifully designed 3D environment for placing in ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 04, 2016 , ... "Pro3rd Displace ... animation styles with unique displacement design elements," said Christina Austin - CEO of ... Choose from a variety of design styles that include both left aligned and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Halfway through its partnership with First 5 LA, Western University ... than 15,900 children 5 years old and younger and treatment services to more than ... of five years to Western University of Health Sciences, UCLA and USC, beginning March ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... , December 5, 2016 PharmaBoardroom today releases ... . ... This report offers companies, investors, policymakers, and stakeholders crucial insight ... of Europe , home to some of the world,s ... pharmaceutical companies in Novartis and Roche, and with a number one ranking ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... VIENNA and TAIPEI, Taiwan , ... 12 months of treatment ropeginterferon alfa-2b showed non-inferiority to hydroxyurea ... demonstrated a significantly better safety and tolerability profile of ropeginterferon ... data from PROUD-PV and the ongoing long-term follow-up trial CONTINUATION-PV ... PharmaEssentia intends to present this data to the ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ORLEANS , Dec. 2, 2016  Former Attorney General ... Jr., Esq. , a partner at the law firm of ... commenced an investigation into Lannett Company, Inc. (NYSE: ... Bloomberg published an article titled "U.S. Charges in Generic-Drug ... "antitrust investigation by the Justice Department, begun about two years ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: