About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Australian Discovery Crucial In Treatment Of Autoimmune Diseases

by Gopalan on October 4, 2009 at 1:57 PM
Font : A-A+

 Australian Discovery Crucial In Treatment Of Autoimmune Diseases

It is the membrane-bound Fas ligand that is essential for apoptosis and not the secreted version, Australian research shows.

Australian researchers claim to have conclusive proof that it is the membrane-bound Fas ligand that is essential for apoptosis and not the secreted version. The discovery is significant in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Advertisement

The immune system is the body's front line of defence against disease-causing invaders such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.

However, sometimes this formidable defender can turn against us - mistakenly attacking and damaging the body's own tissues. This case of mistaken identity is the cause of common autoimmune diseases such as type one diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Advertisement

Now apoptosis protects us by removing unwanted and dangerous cells from our bodies.

This cell death process can be activated by proteins on the surface of cells. The most prominent of these cell surface proteins is Fas ligand, which exists in two forms - membrane-bound or secreted - and binds to a surface receptor called Fas.

Professor Andreas Strasser, co-head of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's Molecular Genetics of Cancer division (with Professor Jerry Adams), has been looking to settle a decade-long scientific debate by investigating whether membrane-bound Fas ligand, secreted Fas ligand, or both, cause cell death.

"There has been a lot of debate among the scientific community over which of the forms causes cell death but also which of the forms may induce an inflammatory response," Professor Strasser said. "What we have shown is that it is the membrane-bound Fas ligand that is essential for cell death and is therefore the body's guardian against lymphadenopathy (the swelling of lymph nodes), autoimmunity and cancer."

Professor Strasser's research, done in collaboration with Dr Lorraine O'Reilly and Ms Lin Tai from the Molecular Genetics of Cancer division and Dr Lorraine Robb from the Cancer and Haematology division, has been published in today's issue of the international journal Nature.

The research also demonstrated that although secreted Fas ligand does not have a role in cell killing, too much secreted Fas can promote tumour development and autoimmunity.

"In certain autoimmune conditions and types of lymphoma/leukaemia there is massive over-production of secreted Fas ligand. Since our research shows that secreted Fas is pro-inflammatory, and therefore detrimental, and since the aforementioned disease states are characterised by inflammatory tissue destruction, it may be possible to alleviate some of the manifestations of these diseases by neutralising the secreted Fas ligand with antibodies or soluble receptors," Professor Strasser said.

Now the roles of membrane-bound and secreted Fas ligand have been clearly defined, Professor Strasser's team is investigating the molecular pathways that are activated by a surplus of secreted Fas ligand and their role in autoimmune conditions and lymphomas/leukaemias.

The research was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the US Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the National Institutes of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  

 



Source: Medindia
GPL
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians - Slideshow
Targeted Screening Program Beneficial for Prostate Cancer Screening
Are Menopause Symptoms Troubling You?: Try these Options
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Chemotherapy Myasthenia Gravis Vitiligo Autoimmune Disorders Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) Microscopic Polyangiitis 

Most Popular on Medindia

Hearing Loss Calculator Find a Doctor Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Drug Interaction Checker Diaphragmatic Hernia Drug Side Effects Calculator Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Blood Donation - Recipients Accident and Trauma Care

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use