New control system of the body discovered

Jun 29, 2009

It has been known for a long time that T cells can attack the body's own structures and, if they infiltrate the CNS, cause diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The T cells damage the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects the fibers of nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between the brain and the body, leading to various symptoms of MS such as impaired movements.

The molecular analysis of damaged tissue from patients with MS led the researchers to the B1-receptor. The data they evaluated showed that two different pathways known to play a crucial role in the cardiovascular area also seem to play an important role in the CNS: namely, the renin-angiotensin-system, and the kallikrein-kinin-system, the latter of which the researchers in Berlin put their focus on.

The B1-receptor is part of the kallikrein-kinin-system. Together with Professor Alexandre Prat from the Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada, and Professor Lawrence Steinman from Stanford University in Stanford, California, USA, the researchers in Berlin detected the B1-receptor on T of MS patients as well as on T cells of mice with encephalitis, an of the brain.

The disease got worse in those mice that lacked B1 on their T cells. Therefore, using a certain substance (Sar-[D-Phe]desArg9-bradykinin), they activated the receptor in mice which had B1 on their T cells. As a result, the entry of into the CNS slowed down and the clinical symptoms of the inflammation markedly decreased.

"We have discovered a control mechanism, which reduces inflammation caused by the immune system" neurologist and MDC research group leader Professor Zipp explains. "It remains to be seen if we succeed in developing a new therapy for chronic inflammation in the CNS, such as MS, in the future."

Source: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (news : web)

Explore further: Growing a blood vessel in a week

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Caffeine prevents multiple sclerosis-like disease in mice

Apr 07, 2008

Mice given caffeine equivalent to a human drinking six to eight cups of coffee a day were protected from developing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for the human disease Multiple Sclerosis ...

New drug protects nerve cells from damage in mice

Mar 14, 2008

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the brain and spinal cord. Individuals with MS develop progressive neurological disability, and this is thought to be caused by degradation of the nerve cells. ...

Inhibiting blood to save the brain

Mar 22, 2007

A fibrous protein called fibrinogen, found in circulating blood and important in blood clotting, can promote multiple sclerosis (MS) when it leaks from the blood into the brain, triggering inflammation that leads to MS-related ...

One size does not fit all: A new look at therapies

May 26, 2009

Statins, a commonly prescribed class of drugs used by millions worldwide to effectively lower blood cholesterol levels, may actually have a negative impact in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with high daily dosages.

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

Oct 24, 2014

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

Oct 24, 2014

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments : 0