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White blood cells cast ‘spider’s web’ of germ-killing DNA

Scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK have found a way of triggering the release of a powerful ‘spider’s web’ of disease-fighting DNA in the body’s protective white blood cells.

Researchers in the School of Dentistry used Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) to produce the webs, known as NETS (neutrophil extracellular traps), from the white blood cells of patients who have a condition in which their cells are unable to produce NETs naturally. The findings are reported in the journal Clinical and Experimental Immunology.

Recent studies have shown that when neutrophils - the white blood cells which form the body’s first line of defence against bacterial infection - are heavily challenged by microbes, they start to die in a specially controlled way. As a last-ditch measure, they expel their entire DNA from within their nucleus into the surrounding tissue. It is this DNA that forms a sticky ‘spiders’ web’ or NET, which also contains enzymes that destroy the bacteria once they are trapped by the NET.

Scientists led by Professor Iain Chapple and Dr Paul Cooper in the Periodontal Research Group at the University of Birmingham discovered that Hypochlorous acid stimulated NET release in patients suffering from the condition Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD), who fail to routinely make NETS. They also discovered that “Taurine” reduced NET formation and may therefore prolong neutrophil survival.

Professor Chapple commented: ‘Our interest is in the role of NETs in combating bacteria that initiate periodontal disease (gum disease), but the fundamental biology surrounding NET formation is common to many infectious-immune conditions.

‘We know that oxygen radicals are needed for NETs to form and CGD patients cannot effectively produce oxygen radicals from their neutrophils, so cannot produce NETs or respond as well to certain infections. This work helps us understand those processes a little more and may in the future lead to new therapies that increase, or indeed in some cases decrease, NET formation.’

The research has highlighted a perplexing paradox surrounding NETS. ‘In some patients NETs appear to be very important in bacterial killing,’ reports Professor Chapple, ‘but in others they appear to generate auto-antibodies against NET components which are being associated with certain immune-mediated diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and auto-immune vasculitis.

‘It appears that NETS may be a double-edged sword for some patients, but research in this new area of immune control is very active at present and exciting discoveries are likely to come thick and fast over the next five to ten years.’

350-080 640-864 C2180-317 117-201 70-485 70-498 98-372 C2020-702 70-466 70-331 EX300 1Z0-060 MB2-701 70-410 200-120 70-410 exam 200-120 exam PMI-SP S90-09A 3203 000-610 010-111 70-488 640-461 70-411 642-427 70-648 70-486 650-987 70-480 70-483 70-412 70-463 C_TSCM42_66 C2010-570 70-410 70-461 70-462 70-685 70-247 70-332 HP2-E59 70-336 70-459 98-365 MB6-869 MB7-701 70-485 70-498 98-372 C2020-702 70-178 70-640 CV0-001 MB6-872 70-410 70-461 70-462 70-685 70-247 70-332 HP2-E59 70-336 70-459 98-365 MB6-869 MB7-701 70-485 70-498 98-372 C2020-702 70-178 70-640 CV0-001 MB6-872 70-410 70-461 70-462 200-120 70-488 MB2-703 70-411 MB5-705 C_TADM51_731 70-346 70-486 70-347 70-480 70-483 70-412 70-463 MB2-700 70-417 C_TAW12_731 400-101 MB2-702 70-487 70-243 70-463 MB2-700 70-417 C_TAW12_731 400-101 MB2-702 70-487
Article Reviewed: June 8, 2012
Copyright © 2015 Healthy Magazine

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