Study: New way to control inflammation

Oct 03, 2006

U.S. researchers say they've discovered a new way to control or terminate potentially harmful immune responses that produce inflammation.

Immune responses defend against invading pathogens and eliminate dangerous tumor cells, for example, but once the threat has been destroyed, the immune responses must end. If left uncontrolled, immune activity can cause autoimmune conditions in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues of the body.

The immune system uses many strategies to shut down immune responses, one of which is signaling cells to die. Now Charles Serhan and colleagues at Harvard University Medical School have demonstrated in mice and humans that dying immune cells express a surface protein that allows them to act as sponges, effectively removing factors that would otherwise promote inflammation.

The scientists say their findings highlight a previously unappreciated role of dying immune cells -- potentially offering a strategy for dampening chronic inflammatory conditions by tricking the immune response to terminate the process.

The report appears in this week's issue of the journal Nature Immunology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: One route to malaria drug resistance found

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

HP CEO Whitman assumes chairman's role

16 minutes ago

Hewlett-Packard said Thursday that chief executive Meg Whitman would chair the US tech giant, after the resignation of non-executive chairman Ralph Whitworth.

Facebook tests 'Buy' button

46 minutes ago

Facebook is testing a "Buy" button in its latest effort to help businesses drive sales through the world's biggest online social network.

Germany most energy efficient nation

48 minutes ago

Germany is the world's most energy efficient nation with strong codes on buildings while China is quickly stepping up its own efforts, an environmental group said Thursday.

Recommended for you

One route to malaria drug resistance found

17 minutes ago

Researchers have uncovered a way the malaria parasite becomes resistant to an investigational drug. The discovery, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, also is relevant for other infectious ...

Protein therapy successful in treating injured lung cells

38 minutes ago

Cardiovascular researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have successfully used a protein known as MG53 to treat acute and chronic lung cell injury. Additionally, application of this protein proved to ...

User comments : 0