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New class of molecule identified in central role of inflammation and the immune system.

The inflammatory response is an integral part of the innate immune mechanism that is triggered in response to a real or perceived threat to tissue homeostasis, with a primary aim of neutralizing infectious agents and initiating repair to damaged tissue. By design, inflammation is a finite process that resolves as soon as the threat of infection abates and sufficient repair to the tissue is complete.  Now, a study from researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Santa Lucia Foundation shows that a previously unknown mechanism involving resolvins and maresins, molecules produced in the body naturally from omega-3 fatty acids, regulate subsets of white blood cells that play a central role in inflammation and the immune system. The team state that their findings suggest resolvins and maresins are part of a new class of molecules that may be useful for treating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Previous studies show that resolvins and maresins are metabolites of omega-3 fatty acids. They are members of the polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolites class, termed specialized proresolving mediators essential fatty acids which can serve as important regulators of inflammation. A new window into mechanisms for the resolution of inflammation was opened with the identification and structural elucidation of mediators derived from these fatty acids with pro-resolving capacity.  However, the role of these fatty acids in the immunomodulatory role of these essential fatty acids in adaptive immune cells is still unclear.  The current study investigates the role of two resolvins and one maresin in human blood lymphocytes.

The current study shows that the two resolvins and one maresin reduce the activation and prevent the differentiation of two types of pathogenic white blood cells, Th1 and Th17 cells. Results show that these molecules also regulate Treg cells, a separate subset of cells that can tamp down the immune response.

The lab further verified these results in a mouse model deficient in these molecules. The group state that together, these discoveries suggest pro-resolving lipid mediators influence the balance between pathogenic Th1/Th17 and tolerogenic Treg cells, a balance that is typically altered during chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.  They hypothesize that these pro-resolving lipid mediators may prove effective as potent anti-inflammatories by targeting those key cells responsible for triggering chronic inflammation or autoimmunity.

The team surmise that their findings provide the ground work to appreciate the role of resolvins, and potentially other novel pro-resolving mediators, in the immune system. For the future, the researchers state that the global medical community can now consider new treatments and therapeutic strategies for translating these findings with pro-resolving mediators to human health and many diseases.

Source: Santa Lucia Foundation

 

New class of molecules play key role in influencing the immune system -healthinnovations

 

 

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Michelle Petersen is the founder of Healthinnovations, having worked in the health and science industry for over 21 years, which includes tenure within the NHS and Oxford University. Healthinnovations is a publication that has reported on, influenced, and researched current and future innovations in health for the past decade.

Michelle has been picked up as an expert writer for Informa publisher’s Clinical Trials community, as well as being listed as a blog source by the world’s leading medical journals, including the acclaimed Nature-Springer journal series.

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Most recently the Texas A&M University covered The Top 10 Healthinnovations series on their site with distinguished Professor Stephen Maren calling the inclusion of himself and his team on the list a reflection of “the hard work and dedication of my students and trainees”.

Michelle Petersen’s copy was used in the highly successful marketing campaign for the mega-hit film ‘Jumanji: The Next Level, starring Jack Black, Karen Gilian, Kevin Hart and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Michelle Petersen’s copywriting was part of the film’s coverage by the Republic TV network. Republic TV is the most-watched English language TV channel in India since its inception in 2017.

An avid campaigner in the fight against child sex abuse and trafficking, Michelle is a passionate humanist striving for a better quality of life for all humans by helping to provide traction for new technologies and techniques within healthcare.

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