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
- Why inflammation warrants attentionon April 10, 2021 at 11:33 pm
Inflammation can be a visible part of how your body fights illness or injury. If you’ve ever sprained your ankle, you already know about it. But it also can be much less obvious, and researchers are ...
- Improving cardiorespiratory fitness protects against inflammation in children: the IDEFICS studyon April 9, 2021 at 10:00 am
Improving CRF during childhood reduces the odds of an inflammatory profile, independently of body composition and lifestyle behaviours. These highlight the importance of enhancing fitness, especially ...
- Rangers' Matt Bush: Out with elbow inflammationon April 9, 2021 at 9:03 am
Bush was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with right elbow inflammation. Bush was a dark horse candidate to get saves following some injuries ahead of him in the Rangers bullpen, but now ...
- Coding and non-coding roles of MOCCI (C15ORF48) coordinate to regulate host inflammation and immunityon April 9, 2021 at 3:09 am
Mito-SEPs are small peptides that can modulate oxidative metabolism in mitochondria. Here the authors show that C15ORF48 encodes a mito-SEP, MOCCI, capable of altering mitochondria respiration to ...
- Study Identifies New Role of BioAegis’ ‘Inflammation Regulator’ Gelsolin Relevant for a Range of Inflammatory Diseaseson April 8, 2021 at 4:11 pm
Research was conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Inflammation Causes a Decrease in Gelsolin and Elevation of Interleukin-1β- Carrying Microparticles While human subjects ...
- Study Identifies New Role of BioAegis’ ‘Inflammation Regulator’ Gelsolin Relevant for a Range ...on April 8, 2021 at 4:02 pm
Gelsolin is non-immunosuppressive unlike current treatments to quell inflammatory cytokines. MORRISTOWN, N.J., April 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioAegis Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage, private ...
- Study links chronic sinus inflammation with alterations in brain activityon April 8, 2021 at 2:48 pm
New research links sinus inflammation with alterations in brain activity, specifically with the neural networks that modulate cognition, introspection and response to external stimuli. The paper was ...
- Chronic sinus inflammation appears to alter brain activityon April 8, 2021 at 2:37 pm
New research links sinus inflammation with alterations in brain activity, specifically with the neural networks that modulate cognition, introspection and response to external stimuli. The millions of ...
- 5 Things You Shouldn't Do When Trying to Decrease Inflammation—And 5 Things You Shouldon April 8, 2021 at 1:59 pm
"Anti-inflammatory diets" and "top anti-inflammatory foods" are hot topics, and the interest and popularity have led to a surge of online recommendations, recipes and meal plans for how to reduce ...
via Bing News