Why colds last as long as they do? - John Hopkins Researchers exploring the possible answers to this question have found a clue to our bodies' defenses against infection balance, how aggressively they fight in an effort not to go overboard and destroy healthy cells. They say that Carabin, a newly discovered protein controls the specific white blood cells that mount an attack on infection.
Jun O. Liu, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, neuroscience and oncology at Hopkins explains the role of Carabin in controlling the infection. The study was published in online version of "Nature"
Liu said, "Carabin acts like an internal brake to dial down the speed and intensity of an immune response so that it doesn't go too fast or too far, or careen out of control and attack healthy cells."
Liu added that their findings could help in stopping a person's immune system from causing the body to reject transplanted organs, which could free transplant patients from having to take medications to suppress their immune systems.