Navigation Links
The balancing act between protection and inflammation in MS
Date:2/17/2012

Scientists have discovered a molecular mechanism that could help explain how multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases can be exacerbated by the onset of an infection.

MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system which affects approximately 100,000 people in the UK.

The research, directed by Dr Bruno Gran at The University of Nottingham, focused on a population of cells of the immune system known as regulatory T cells, which control and regulate the behaviour of other immune cells. The results of this study have been published in the Journal of Immunology.

Dr Bruno Gran, from the School of Clinical Sciences, said: "The connection between infections and MS is complex. We have known for many years that in some cases, infections can promote disease exacerbations (also known as "MS relapses"). Our study sheds light on a new mechanism that could explain how infections can trigger such relapses. This might have relevance to other autoimmune diseases as well"

When the immune system is functioning properly Regulatory T cells also known as Tregs keep in check the tendency of other cells of the immune system to over react and cause inflammation when the body is under attack from infectious agents such as bacteria or viruses.

The battle of the immune cells

In the battle that follows the research group discovered that bacteria and viruses activate certain receptors of the innate immune system known as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), making the Tregs less inhibitory. The positive consequence is that inflammatory immune cells are more able to react against infectious agents and eliminate them. The problem is that such increased activity of inflammatory immune cells could also increase the occurrence of autoimmune reactions against organs such as the central nervous system.

Research led by award winning PhD student

Most of the experimental work was conducted in the laboratory by award winning PhD student Mukanthu Nyirenda under the supervision of Dr Gran in the Division of Clinical Neurology. The research was funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Last year Mukanthu received the University Endowed Postgraduate Prize in recognition of the progress he has made with his research. He is also a previous recipient of a Jacqueline Du Pre' Award of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.

Mukanthu said: "This publication is a very important part of the work leading to my doctoral dissertation, planned for 2012. I am grateful for the recognition and support given to me by the University with the Endowed Postgraduate Prize."

The study was carried out in collaboration with Professor Cris Constantinescu and other researchers at The University of Nottingham and experts at McGill University in Montreal.

Flirting with the enemy

The research team also found that when stimulated by molecules that activate TLRs, regulatory T cells become themselves functionally more similar to inflammatory T cells, another reason why autoimmune reactions could occur in relation to infections.

Although this part of the study focussed on healthy subjects, ongoing studies in Dr Gran's laboratory are comparing the properties of regulatory T cells in these people with those obtained from patients with MS. Other researchers have previously found that Tregs may in fact be defective in MS patients, and this study contributes to our understanding of how episodes of infections, known to influence the clinical course of MS, could in certain circumstances promote the occurrence of autoimmunity.


'/>"/>
Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Balancing oxaliplatin dose with neurological side effects in metastatic colon cancer
2. Balancing scientific freedom and national security
3. Balancing the womb
4. Parenting after the death of a child a difficult balancing act: York U study
5. 'The Balancing Act' & Chicken of the Sea Search for America's 'Supercook'
6. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Dr. Bob Arnot to the Program
7. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes HSA Bank to the Program
8. O2 Media's Hit Morning TV Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Absolute Miracle Cream to the Program
9. ‘The Balancing Act' and Chicken of the Sea Search for America's ‘Supercook'
10. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Dexter Russell, Inc. to the Program
11. O2 Media's Hit Morning Show ‘The Balancing Act' Welcomes Resident Chef Jeremy Hanlon to the Program
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Mary Magdalene: Grace is Greater than Sin”: a unique ... Jesus Christ firsthand. “Mary Magdalene: Grace is Greater than Sin” is the creation of ... interacting with countless women who had little knowledge of the female characters portrayed in ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) device, was featured in a study indicating superior ... MEd, RRT-ACCS, FAARC, “Analysis of Three Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure Devices During ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “The Land of More and More”: ... of world hunger, and shares the simple and achievable answer. “The Land of More ... of the Fairview Missionary Church in Angola, Indiana where he works with the children’s ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Next week after January 20th, the fear for many ... that circumvent health needs of over 30 million. Many interviews with Dr. Carol Francis ... government public servants were suppose to prioritize. Interviews provided below. , Among ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... and scientists from around the world, announces the launch of its newly redesigned ... easy portal to research breakthroughs and trending news, vital information on upcoming virtual ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Conference Call and Webcast to Follow Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... results for the fourth quarter of 2016 on Wednesday, February 15, ... ... PM ET on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, during which management will ... other corporate activities. To participate in the conference call, please dial ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017  Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc. ( ... treat mitochondrial dysfunction, today announced new additions to its ... as Chief Medical Officer, and Daniel Geffken ... that Jim Carr , Pharm.D. has been promoted ... are pleased to welcome Doug and Daniel to our ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017  Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX ), ... and consumables for the medical and veterinary markets worldwide, ... results for the third quarter fiscal year 2017, ended ... p.m. ET on Thursday, January 26, 2017.  The Company ... year 2017 after the market closes on Thursday, January ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: