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: Stem cells from nerves form teeth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hoverbike drone project for air transport takes off

8 hours ago

What happens when you cross a helicopter with a motorbike? The crew at Malloy Aeronautics has been focused on a viable answer and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support its Hoverbike project, "The ...

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

8 hours ago

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

8 hours ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

18 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

19 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

User comments : 0