Saturday , July 24 2021

The immune system switch

Vienna researchers have found a mechanism to turn the immune system on or off. It opens up new pathways such as multiple sclerosis in treating oncological therapy and autoimmune diseases.

Obstruction of the body against its weapon is the idea of ​​oncological immunotherapy. This approach was accompanied by a research team from the International Academy of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. They have studied the substance that plays an important role in human nervous system, dopamine of "happiness hormones" and the building block of serotonin.

Both active agents regulate the immune system

The study shows that one of the hormonal hormones BH4's building blocks activates the immune system. Cell Biologist Shane Cronin, the chief biologist of the research, says: "If BH4 is greater then T cells are ready to fight and be aggressive," says Cronin.

The cell biologist and his IMA, Harvard University and Heidelberg colleagues at the Max Planck Institute were able to detect the two active substances that used this mechanism and thus regulated the immune system. "BH4 has other goals in the market," says Cronin. Another active ingredient has been discovered and tested by scientists themselves. You can now select or disable T cells.

Image IMBA image

An important candidate for oncological therapy

This makes BH4 a promising candidate for future cancer treatment as the activated T cells feel sense and fight against cancer cells. The first experiments on the mice were successful. Cronin and his colleagues have discovered another drug, on the contrary: it regulates BH4 and closes the immune system.

By lowering BH4, T cells can be regulated in autoimmune diseases, which attacks the healthy cells in the body, says Kronin. Suicidal colitis, various sclerosis, allergies and asthma were successful in intestinal inflammation. The new drug not only eradicated BH4 and T cells, but also calmed the entire immune system. In the next few years, therapeutic approaches to autoimmune diseases and oncological diseases will be clinically tested.

It can also be considered as anti-depressant

If the patient is successful in the preparation, they may enter the market for several years. Moreover, Kronin wants to continue his research in another direction: The cell biologist wants to explore the relationship between the immune system and the nervous system, as the BH4 bactericide hormone affects serotonin and human mood.

"Maybe we can raise the level of serotonin in the brain together with the same or similar drug," says Cronin. This can lead not only to the treatment of depression, but also to the prospect of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, as well as to the scientist's expectations.

Marlene Nowotny, Ö1-Wissenschaft

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