Antibodies attack immune proteins

Feb 01, 2010

Two studies published online on February 1 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine reveal that patients with a rare autoimmune disease produce antibodies that attack microbe-fighting immune proteins called cytokines. These findings may help explain why these patients suffer recurrent yeast infections.

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome, or APS-I, afflicts one in 100,000 people and is characterized by disrupted thyroid and adrenal gland function and recurrent skin infections with one type of yeast. Normally, the produces cytokines that help protect the body against airborne yeast and other environmental .

Two teams of researchers—one led by Anthony Meager at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (UK), and the other led by Desa Lilic at Newcastle University (UK) and Jean-Laurent Casanova at Rockefeller University (New York)—found that patients with APS-I produce autoantibodies that bind to and disarm these yeast-fighting cytokines.

It is not yet clear why these patients are prone to infection with only one type of yeast. But these studies suggest that cytokine replacement therapy might be considered in the treatment of APS-I patients.

Explore further: Stroke damage mechanism identified

More information:
-- Kisand, K., et al. 2010. J. Exp. Med. doi:1doi:10.1084/jem.20091983
-- Puel, A., et al. 2010. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20091983

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mounting a multi-layered attack on fungal infections

Sep 08, 2009

Unravelling a microbe's multilayer defence mechanisms could lead to effective new treatments for potentially lethal fungal infections in cancer patients and others whose natural immunity is weakened.

People with Job's syndrome lack specific immune cells

Mar 17, 2008

Scientists have made another major breakthrough--the second in the past year--in understanding a rare immune disorder called Job’s syndrome. Job’s syndrome is characterized by recurrent and often severe bacterial and ...

Recommended for you

Stroke damage mechanism identified

3 hours ago

Researchers have discovered a mechanism linked to the brain damage often suffered by stroke victims—and are now searching for drugs to block it.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.