A group of researchers from Queen Mary, University of London has discovered the key molecule that is responsible for regulating inflammatory responses in humans.
Inflammation – a Biological Response
Inflammation is the body’s natural response against foreign substances, such as pathogens, viruses, bacteria and toxins that try to harm the body. It is a protective process automatically initiated by the organism to remove the injurious stimulus and promote healing. Once the danger has been cleared, the inflammatory response automatically shuts down.
But in some instances, the inflammatory responses of the organism are disrupted – either it has started too soon (even without the stimuli), or it carries on even when the danger is no longer there. If the inflammation is not controlled or managed, it could lead to a wide range of diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
But by temporarily interfering with the p110delta activity, it is possible to balance the body’s inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses, suggests Dr Ezra Aksoy, from the Barts Cancer Institute, co-author of the study.
Key molecule controls inflammation
In their research, they found that a key molecule called p110delta fine-tunes the body’s inflammatory responses, which in turn prevents overreaction that could potentially damage the organism.
According to the study, the key molecule balances the inflammatory response by regulating the dendritic cell – a type of immune cell that initiates the immune response, telling the immune system to send out inflammatory agents and counter foreign substances such as bacteria. To further investigate how it works, the researchers studied the dendritic cells from the experimental mice that lacked active p110delta. They found that is the p110delta that controls the transition of a bacteria-sensing receptor known as TLR4, from the surface to the interior of the dendritic cells, which stimulates the shutting down of inflammatory responses.
The researchers believe that a better understanding of the key mechanisms involved in regulating the body’s inflammatory response will help in the development of more specific and better therapies to treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Immunology, can also be used as basis for vaccine development.
Source of this article:
Key mechanism for controlling body’s inflammatory response discovered, Queen Mary, University of London