Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Communicative Immune Cells

29.01.2013
SKIN-DEEP COMMUNICATION: MESSENGER SUBSTANCE AND SIGNALLING MOLECULE INFLUENCE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SKIN´S IMMUNE CELLS

A signalling molecule known as Axl has been discovered on immune cells of the epidermis. This recently published finding provides new insight into the development of important skin immune cells known as Langerhans cells. These cells fight off invading microorganisms and play a crucial role in our health.

As the research project, funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, also discovered, the natural production of the signalling molecule Axl is highly dependent on the messenger substance TGF-beta1. Together, these findings provide a better understanding of how immune cells develop and offer new approaches for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Some infections can really "get under your skin". Fortunately, however, this is not always the case, as the skin provides very effective protection against infections - a function for which we have to thank a type of skin cells, known as the Langerhans cells (LCs). These cells are found in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, and on mucous membranes, and provide a first line of defence against invading viruses, bacteria and fungi. A team of researchers at the Medical University of Vienna is currently examining how immune cells develop from haemopoietic or blood-forming stem cells, and recently made some very important discoveries in the process.

SIGNAL EFFECT

A team headed by Prof. Herbert Strobl from the Institute of Immunology has not only demonstrated that a signalling molecule known as Axl occurs on the surface of LCs, but also how this process is controlled by the messenger substance or cytokine transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta1). Commenting on the significance of this study, Prof. Strobl explains that: "A large number of benign microbes are found on the skin, which are important for human health. The ability to distinguish "good" from "bad" is therefore of critical importance for the LCs - and Axl plays an important role in this process."

Axl is, in fact, a receptor belonging to the family of TAM receptor tyrosine kinases. These messenger molecules have a crucial function in the prevention of undesired inflammatory responses - and are thereby also preventing the immune system from reacting to benign microbes. Finding an explanation for when and how Axl is formed is therefore very important for understanding the development of LCs from stem cells.

The group headed by Prof. Strobl, who recently started at the Institute of Pathophysiology and Immunology at the Medical University of Graz, has now succeeded in showing that precursor LCs form the signalling molecule Axl just a few hours after coming into contact with TGF-beta1. In comparison to the duration of other cell differentiation processes, an astonishingly short time period. In addition, the researchers established that Axl is only produced in cells that go on to differentiate into LCs - and not in precursors that develop into other cell types, for example granulocytes, monocytes or lymphocytes. The scientists also succeeded in determining that Axl is the only receptor of the TAM family synthesised under these conditions.

These findings rapidly indicated to Thomas Bauer, first author of the study, that the effect of TGF-beta1 on Axl production is vital for LC differentiation from precursor cells: A detail that is further substantiated by the fact that the continuous presence of TGF-beta1 is essential throughout the differentiation process to guarantee Axl synthesis.

A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH

These findings have now been published in the prestigious Journal of Experimental Medicine. This study, which is impressive from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective, was made possible by a well-established test system, as Prof. Strobl explains: "Thanks to an in vitro cell culture procedure for LC differentiation from isolated blood stem cells, we can analyse the effects of different molecules during LC differentiation in detail. This is exactly what we did with TGF-beta1."

The importance of the findings of this FWF project extends far beyond the fundamental insights they provide into the development of skin immune cells. Axl´s ability to distinguish between "good" and "bad" also enables it to prevent autoimmune diseases. Which is why these findings just may contribute to the treatment of these diseases in the future.

Original publication: T. Bauer, A. Zagorska, J. Jurkin, N. Yasmin, R. Koffel, S. Richter, B. Gesslbauer, G. Lemke and H. Strobl, Identification of Axl as a downstream effector of TGF-beta1 during Langerhans cell differentiation and epidermal homeostasis. J. Exp. Med. 2012 Vol. 209 No. 11 2033-2047. DOI 10.1084/jem.20120493

Scientific Contact:
Prof. Herbert Strobl
Medical University of Graz
Institute of Pathophysiology and Immunology Heinrichstraße 31a
8010 Graz, Austria
M +43 / 676 / 757 61 95
E herbert.strobl@medunigraz.at
Austrian Science Fund FWF:
Mag. Stefan Bernhardt
Haus der Forschung
Sensengasse 1
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / 1 / 505 67 40 - 8111
E stefan.bernhardt@fwf.ac.at
W http://www.fwf.ac.at
Copy Editing and Distribution:
PR&D - Public Relations for Research & Education Mariannengasse 8
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / 1 / 505 70 44
E contact@prd.at
W http://www.prd.at

Judith Sandberger | PR&D
Further information:
http://www.fwf.ac.at
http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relations/press/pv201301-en.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More detailed analysis of how cells react to stress
08.02.2016 | Universität Zürich

nachricht A new potential biomarker for cancer imaging
05.02.2016 | Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultraschnelle Bildgebung fürs Gehirn soll noch präziser werden

1,5 Millionen Euro für die Weiterentwicklung der Magnetresonanztomografie an Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hennig / Förderung durch die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) / Medizinische Relevanz: Direktes Beobachten schneller Veränderungen in Anatomie und Aktivität des Gehirns, etwa nach einem Schlaganfall / Bereits heute nicht-invasive Ortung von Epilepsieherden im Gehirn möglich

Bildgebende Verfahren für das Gehirn sind entweder schnell oder detailliert. Wie diese Faktoren bei der funktionellen Magnetresonanztomografie (fMRT)...

Im Focus: From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes

Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

"Our findings have demonstrated that renewable pollens could produce carbon architectures for anode applications in energy storage devices," said Vilas Pol, an...

Im Focus: Automatisiertes Fahren: Lenken ohne Grenzen

Projekt OmniSteer startet mit 3,4 Millionen Euro Budget, um urbane Manövrierfähigkeit von Autos zu steigern

Autos steigern die Mobilität ihrer Nutzer. In engen Innenstädten jedoch stoßen sie an die Grenzen der eigenen Manövrierfähigkeit. Etwa für Vielparker wie...

Im Focus: Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

Im Focus: Embedded World: Fraunhofer ESK zeigt Entwicklung eines ausfallsicheren Bordnetzes für die Autos der Zukunft

Hochautomatisiertes Fahren setzt voraus, dass Fahrzeuge Fehler selbstständig beheben können, bis der Fahrer in der Lage ist, selbst einzugreifen. Dazu muss im Bordnetz des Autos die Ausfallsicherheit kritischer Funktionen garantiert sein. Das Fraunhofer ESK zeigt auf der Embedded World in Nürnberg (23. bis 25. Februar), wie das mit Erweiterungen des aktuellen AUTOSAR-Standards umzusetzen ist. Hierfür stellen die ESK-Forscher auch eine Werkzeugkette vor, mit der solche Bordnetze entwickelt werden können (Halle 4 / Stand 460).

Fällt in einem hochautomatisierten Fahrzeug eine Steuerungseinheit aus, muss das Fahrzeug selbstständig reagieren, bis der Fahrer eingreifen und das Fahren...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

TAILORED JOINING – Fügetechnische Kompetenz versammelt sich in Dresden

08.02.2016 | Veranstaltungen

25 Jahre tropische Meeresforschung in Bremen: das Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenökologie

05.02.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Programmieren lernen leicht gemacht - GFOS lädt zum GFOS Java Summercamp

04.02.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Den intelligenten Kameras entgeht nichts!

08.02.2016 | Messenachrichten

Ultraschnelle Bildgebung fürs Gehirn soll noch präziser werden

08.02.2016 | Medizintechnik

Exaktere Analyse der Zellreaktionen auf Stress

08.02.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie