Sunday, June 8, 2008

Messengers


Artwork found here. 

I am constantly amazed at the complexity of our bodies. 

My newest source of amazement is in the intricate mechanisms of cellular communication. One specific communication between  the cells active in the immune system is facilitated by a unique set of proteins named interleukins.  You can read more about interleukins here. Of interest recently is the specific protein labeled interleukin 17. 

This article published in the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association website, comments on recent interleukin research: 
Investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have identified the previously unknown role of a chemical "messenger" leading to autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.  The messenger is the naturally occurring chemical interleukin 17 (IL-17).

 "Knowing more about IL-17's ability to regulate unwanted B-cell migration will generate new ideas in the ongoing search for better drug targets in preventing and treating autoimmune disease," commented Hue-Chen Hsu, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the University of Alabama Birmingham Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, who is lead author on the study.

Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham, via Huliq, January 2, 2008

It is possible that some interleukins are delivering incorrect or altered messages, and in doing so, like all miscommunications everywhere, create problems. 

2 comments:

Connie said...

Interesting. With Myasthenia Gravis I have a problem with the transmission of nerve impulses to my muscles. The transmitter substance is called "acetylcholine". Antibodies damage the acetylcholine receptors. This causes problems with my muscles contracting.

So here's another autoimmmune disease that has issues with "messengers".

Julia said...

Good information, Connie.
Thanks!

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