Scientists have discovered a new metabolic process in the body that can switch off inflammation. They have discovered that ‘itaconate’ – a molecule derived from glucose – acts as a powerful off-switch for macrophages, which are the cells in the immune system that lie at the heart of many inflammatory diseases including arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease.
The scientists, working in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin, hope their discovery will have relevance for inflammatory and infectious diseases – and that their findings may also help to develop much-needed new drugs to treat people living with these conditions.
Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity, Luke O’Neill, was, along with Dr Mike Murphy of the University of Cambridge, the joint leader of the work just published in leading international journal Nature. The discoveries were made using both human cells and mice as a model organism.
Professor O’Neill said: “My lab has been exploring metabolic changes in macrophages for the past six years and we’ve come across what we think is the most important finding yet.”
“It is well known that macrophages cause inflammation, but we have just found that they can be coaxed to make a biochemical called itaconate. This functions as an important brake, or off-switch, on the macrophage, cooling the heat of inflammation in a process never before described.”
Dr Evanna Mills, who, with Dylan Ryan was joint first author of the work, said: “The macrophage takes the nutrient glucose, whose day job it is to provide energy, and surprisingly turns it into itaconate. This then blocks production of inflammatory factors, and also protects mice from the lethal inflammation that can occur during infection.”
Dylan Ryan added: “We’ve found that itaconate can directly modify a whole host of proteins important for inflammation in a chemical reaction never before described, and that this reaction is important for the anti-inflammatory effects of itaconate.”
The discovery is very much on the frontier of inflammation research and Professor O’Neill and his collaborators are now exploring its relevance to the onset and development of inflammatory and infectious diseases. They are also keen to explore whether the findings can be exploited in the effort to develop new anti-inflammatory medicines.
The work was a collaboration with Harvard Medical School, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Dundee, and GlaxoSmithKline, where both Professor O’Neill and Dr Mills spent time on sabbatical.
Professor O’Neill said: “This discovery and the new research pathways it has opened up will keep us busy for some time but we are hopeful that it will one day make a difference to patients with diseases that remain difficult to treat.”
The Latest on: Inflammation
via Google News
The Latest on: Inflammation
- Researchers identify factors behind inflammation in immunodeficiency patients on November 14, 2018 at 10:56 am
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University researchers have discovered two key factors behind the intestinal inflammation that plagues people suffering from a disorder that affects their immune system. ... […]
- Can't exercise? A hot bath may help improve inflammation, metabolism, study suggests on November 14, 2018 at 5:10 am
Hot water treatment may help improve inflammation and blood sugar (glucose) levels in people who are unable to exercise, according to a new study. The findings are published ahead of print in the ... […]
- Bacteria Offers Solution to Inflammation on November 13, 2018 at 3:47 pm
Mutualism, the symbiotic relationship between individuals of different species in which both individuals benefit from the association, is a common finding when looking at gut bacteria. Often it is the ... […]
- Brain Inflammation Seen for First Time in Fibromyalgia on November 13, 2018 at 9:51 am
Researchers have reported for the first time that they have found inflammation in the brains of patients with fibromyalgia. Daniel S. Albrecht, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Radiol... […]
- Nephritis: Addressing Inflammation of the Kidneys on November 13, 2018 at 7:54 am
The kidneys are workhorses. When all is working well, the bean-shaped organs that are around the size of a fist may be given little thought, yet they play an important role removing waste and ... […]
- The inflammation-busting ACV tonic Massy Arias blends up in the mornings on November 12, 2018 at 12:57 pm
Doing your skin-care regimen twice a day—once in the morning and once before bed—is pretty standard. But having a regular workout routine shakes everything up and adds more to the equation. After swea... […]
- Subclinical Heart Inflammation Seen in RA on November 12, 2018 at 10:36 am
A study using 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (FDG PET-CT) found that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity was correlated with more myocardial inflammation ... […]
- AHA: Targeting Inflammation With Methotrexate Flops for CV Prevention on November 10, 2018 at 2:04 pm
CHICAGO -- Low-dose methotrexate given to reduce inflammation had no impact on cardiovascular events in high-risk but stable atherosclerosis, the CIRT randomized trial showed. A weekly dose of 15 to 2... […]
- Generic arthritis drug comes up short against inflammation in heart disease on November 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm
Giving a generic anti-inflammatory drug widely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis to people who previously had a heart attack or stroke worked no better than placebo in preventing another cardiovascul... […]
via Bing News