A new study, appearing in Cell Stem Cell and led by researchers at the University of Southern California, outlines the specifics of how autoimmune disorders can be controlled by infusions of mesenchymal stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are highly versatile stem cells that originate from the mesoderm, or middle layer of tissue, in a developing embryo. MSC can be isolated from many different kinds of human tissue, including bone marrow and the umbilical cord. Principal investigator Songtao Shi, professor at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, said that recent studies have shown the benefits of administering MSC to patients with immune-related disorders such as graft versus host disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
Protein Vital For Cell Survival And Immune Balance Has Another Form With A Different Function, Could Yield Additional Cancer Treatment Strategy
Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators suggests that safeguarding cell survival and maintaining a balanced immune system is just the start of the myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (MCL1) protein's work. Nearly 20 years after MCL1 was discovered, scientists have identified a second form of the protein that works in a different location in cells and performs a different function. This newly identified version is shorter and toils inside rather than outside mitochondria where it assists in production of chemical energy that powers cells. The research appears in the online edition of the scientific journal Nature Cell Biology. The finding will likely aid the development of cancer drugs. Many cancers feature high levels of MCL1 or extra copies of the gene, and there is widespread interest in the protein for its potential to treat cancer.
New research published online in the FASEB Journal suggests that a specific enzyme, called 5-lipoxygenase, plays a key role in cell death induced by microgravity environments, and that inhibiting this enzyme will likely help prevent or lessen the severity of immune problems in astronauts caused by spaceflight. Additionally, since space conditions initiate health problems that mimic the aging process on Earth, this discovery may also lead to therapeutics that extend lives by bolstering the immune systems of the elderly. "The outcomes of this space research might be helpful to improve health in the elderly on Earth, " said Mauro Maccarrone, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Teramo in Teramo, Italy. "In fact, space conditions [cause problems that] resemble the physiological process of aging and drugs able to reduce microgravity-induced immunodepression might be effective therapeutics against loss of immune performance in aging people.
Cells on the move reach forward with lamellipodia and filopodia, cytoplasmic sheets and rods supported by branched networks or tight bundles of actin filaments. Cells without functional lamellipodia are still highly motile but lose their ability to stay on track, report researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in the online issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. Their study provides new insight into cell motility, a complex and integrated process, which, when gone awry, can lead to various disease conditions such as cancer metastasis, birth defects, cardiovascular disease and compromised immune function. Many cell types migrate through surrounding tissue: nerve cells reaching for their final destination; immune cells on the prowl for intruding pathogens; fibroblast called in to close wounds and stray cancer cells that have escaped the confines of the primary tumor.
Microemulsion Has Been Found To Be Both Stable And A Good Candidate For Delivering A Variety Of Antigens
A researcher at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC)/San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) presented findings on a new potential vaccine carrier that he hopes will extend the shelf life of and aid in the stockpiling of critical vaccines. U.S. Army Maj. Jean M. Muderhwa presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting on a microemulsion he developed and that has been found to be both stable and a good candidate for delivering a variety of antigens. His findings were presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's annual meeting, which is part of EB2012. "There is a synergy here, " Muderhwa said of the microemulsion. "What I found is a composition that is transparent, is liquid and that has been sitting there (on my shelf) for six months" without degrading.