(Press-News.org) Irvine, CA - July 20, 2021 - In a new University of California, Irvine-led study, researchers found that a certain protein prevented regulatory T cells (Tregs) from effectively doing their job in controlling the damaging effects of inflammation in a model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a devastating autoimmune disease of the nervous system.
Published this month in Science Advances, the new study illuminates the important role of Piezo1, a specialized protein called an ion channel, in immunity and T cell function related to autoimmune neuroinflammatory disorders.
"We found that Piezo1 selectively restrains Treg cells, limiting their potential to mitigate autoimmune neuroinflammation," said Michael D. Cahalan, PhD, distinguished professor and chair in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the UCI School of Medicine. "Genetically deleting Piezo1 in transgenic mice, resulted in an expanded pool of Treg cells, which were more capable of effectively reducing neuroinflammation and with it the severity of the disease."
T cells rely on specialized proteins, like Piezo1, to detect and respond to various diseases and conditions including bacterial infections, wound healing, and even cancer. Uncontrolled T cell activity, however, can give rise to autoimmune disorders in which the immune system attacks normal cells in the body. Tregs constantly curate immune responses and play a critical role in preventing autoimmunity.
"Given the demonstrated ability of Piezo1 to restrain Treg cells, we believe that inhibiting Piezo1 could lead to new treatments for neuroinflammatory disorders, like MS," explained Amit Jairaman, PhD, and Shivashankar Othy, PhD, lead authors of the study, both project scientists in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics.
Piezo1 conducts ions when cells are subjected to mechanical forces. Research over the last decade has shed light on the role of Piezo1 in regulating vital physiological functions including red blood cell (RBC) volume, blood pressure, vascular development, bone formation, and differentiation of neural stem cells. However, its role in modulating immune response has not been appreciated before. And, while it was known that calcium conducting ion channels, like Piezo1, direct various aspects of T cell function, researchers were surprised to find that Piezo1 was not essential for a whole host of T cell functions that rely on calcium, such as lymph node homing, interstitial motility, activation, proliferation, or differentiation into effector T cells.
"We found the role of Piezo1 appears to be quite specific to Tregs. Therefore, targeting Piezo1 might be a new and ideal strategy to cure MS while preserving the immune system's ability to fight new infections," added Othy, whose research over last 12 years has focused on finding ways to harness the therapeutic potential of Treg cells.
Further investigation of the function of Piezo1 is needed to understand therapeutic potential, and to more fully understand the processes through which cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli during immune responses.
This research was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Hewitt Foundation for Biomedical Research.
About the UCI School of Medicine
Each year, the UCI School of Medicine educates more than 400 medical students, and nearly 150 doctoral and master's students. More than 700 residents and fellows are trained at UCI Medical Center and affiliated institutions. The School of Medicine offers an MD; a dual MD/PhD medical scientist training program; and PhDs and master's degrees in anatomy and neurobiology, biomedical sciences, genetic counseling, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, pathology, pharmacology, physiology and biophysics, and translational sciences. Medical students also may pursue an MD/MBA, an MD/master's in public health, or an MD/master's degree through one of three mission-based programs: Health Education to Advance Leaders in Integrative Medicine (HEAL-IM), Leadership Education to Advance Diversity-African, Black and Caribbean (LEAD-ABC), and the Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC). The UCI School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Accreditation and ranks among the top 50 nationwide for research. For more information, visit som.uci.edu.
Newborns at risk for Type 1 diabetes because they were given antibiotics may have their gut microorganisms restored with a maternal fecal transplant, according to a Rutgers study.
The study, which involved genetic analysis of mice, appears in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
The findings suggest that newborns at risk for Type 1 diabetes because their microbiome - the trillions of beneficial microorganisms in and on our bodies - were disturbed can have the condition reversed by transplanting fecal microbiota from their mother into their gastrointestinal tract after the antibiotic course has been completed.
Type 1 diabetes is the most ...
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2021 -- In the wind power industry, optimization of yaw, the alignment of a wind turbine's angle relative to the horizonal plane, has long shown promise for mitigating wake effects that cause a downstream turbine to produce less power than its upstream partner. However, a critical missing puzzle piece in the application of this knowledge has recently been added -- how to automate the identification of which turbines are experiencing wake effects amid changing wind conditions.
In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, by AIP Publishing, ...
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2021 -- Surpassing the biological limitations of the brain and using one's mind to interact with and control external electronic devices may sound like the distant cyborg future, but it could come sooner than we think.
Researchers from Imperial College London conducted a review of modern commercial brain-computer interface (BCI) devices, and they discuss the primary technological limitations and humanitarian concerns of these devices in APL Bioengineering, from AIP Publishing.
The most promising method to achieve real-world BCI applications is through electroencephalography (EEG), a method ...
Millions of people in countries around the world could face an increased risk of malnutrition as climate change threatens their local fisheries.
New projections examining more than 800 fish species in more than 157 countries have revealed how two major, and growing, pressures - climate change and over-fishing - could impact the availability of vital micronutrients from our oceans.
As well as omega-3 fatty acids, fish are an important source of iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamin A. A lack of these vital micronutrients is linked to conditions such as maternal mortality, stunted growth, and pre-eclampsia.
Analyses by an international team from the UK and Canada and led by scientists from Lancaster ...
PHILADELPHIA -- (July 20, 2021) -- Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is an RNA processing mechanism that regulates gene expression by generating different ends on RNA transcripts of the same gene. Though it affects more than half of human genes, the significance of APA was poorly understood. Now a new study by The Wistar Institute describes an important function of APA in allowing certain mRNAs to reach specific sites of protein synthesis and reveals that length, sequence and structural properties can determine the destination (and fate) of mRNAs within the cell. These findings, published online in the journal Cell Reports, shed light on the consequences of APA that may represent a paradigm shift in the mRNA metabolism field.
What The Study Did: Credit reports were analyzed to estimate the amount of medical debt in collections nationally and by geographic region and income group and its association with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Authors: Neale Mahoney, Ph.D., of Stanford University in Stanford, California, is the corresponding author.
To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/
Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional ...
New Rochelle, NY, July 19, 2021--Duct tape and items retrieved from the water are common pieces of evidence in forensic cases. A new study evaluates the recovery of DNA from folded duct tape that has been submerged in ocean water for up to 2 weeks. The study is published in the peer-reviewed journal Forensic Genomics. Click here to read the article now.
Joseph Donfack, PhD, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory Division, and coauthors showed that it is possible to recover enough DNA to yield a complete short tandem repeat (STR) profile from folded duct tape that has been submerged in ocean water for up to 2 weeks if the initial ...
On 23 July 2012, humanity escaped technological and economic disaster. A diffuse cloud of magnetized plasma in the shape of a slinky toy tens of thousands of kilometers across was hurled from the Sun at a speed of hundreds of kilometers per second.
This coronal mass ejection (CME) just missed the Earth because its origin on the Sun was facing away from our planet at the time. Had it hit the Earth, satellites might have been disabled, power grids around the globe knocked out, GPS systems, self-driving cars, and electronics jammed, and railway tracks ...
Retail traders often fear that reducing the amount of urban space made available for parking private vehicles would have a negative effect on their businesses. A survey conducted by researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) on two shopping streets in Berlin shows that traders have a skewed perception of their customers' mobility habits. The findings of this research will facilitate better-informed decision-making around urban land-use planning.
The researchers surveyed around 2,000 customers and 145 retailers on Kottbusser Damm (Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district) and Hermannstraße (Neukölln district). The vast majority of shoppers - 93 per cent - had not travelled to their ...
No benefit of high-flow therapy (HFT) can be derived from the available study data for patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or chronic type 1 respiratory failure. It therefore remains unclear whether this form of treatment has advantages over long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) or non-invasive ventilation (NIV).
This is the conclusion of the benefit assessment that the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has now completed. The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) had commissioned IQWiG to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of HFT in patients with stable, advanced COPD or chronic respiratory failure with oxygen deficiency ...