Braking system for immune responses

Braking system for immune responses

The surface of immune system cells is home to a number of receptors which are able to detect pathogens. As soon as these receptors are activated, inflammation occurs and the body’s defense mechanisms kick in. A receptor on human cells that specifically recognizes crystals has been identified by researchers for the first time. It is found on immune cells and binds uric acid crystals, which trigger gout but also control immune responses.

via Top Health News — ScienceDaily:

For the first time, researchers have identified a receptor on human cells that specifically recognizes crystals. It is found on immune cells and binds uric acid crystals, which trigger gout but also control immune responses. The team, led by researchers from Technische Universitt Mnchen (TUM)’s Klinikum rechts der Isar hospital have published their findings in the Immunity journal.The surface of immune system cells is home to a number of receptors which are able to detect pathogens. As soon as these receptors are activated, inflammation occurs and the body’s defense mechanisms kick in. Immune cells also have receptors that regulate or even suppress immunological responses to prevent damage to individual cells.There are other immune receptors that recognize endogenous substances that are released when tissue damage or cell death occurs. As such, the organism can defend itself even in cases where the damage caused by the pathogen, but not the pathogen itself, is detected.With the discovery of the surface molecule Clec12a from the family of C-type lectin receptors, the team led by Prof. Jrgen Ruland of Klinikum rechts der Isar have found the first known immune receptor for uric acid crystals. Uric acid is a break-down product of nucleic acids like DNA in response to cell damage. Whenever a large number of cells die, for example when a tumor is being medically treated or during an infection, the uric acid becomes more concentrated and the molecules crystallize.Immune responses have to be regulatedUric acid crystals also form when tissue is damaged and they boost the immune response. However, Clec12a limits the immune response instead of increasing it. …

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Top Health News — ScienceDaily

Braking system for immune responses

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