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 Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Bio-fabrication of Artificial Blood Vessels with Laser Light
28.08.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: Optische Schalter - Lernen mit Licht

Einem deutsch-französischen Team ist es gelungen, einen lichtempfindlichen Schalter für Nervenzellen zu entwickeln. Dies ermöglicht neue Einblicke in die Funktionsweise von Gedächtnis und Lernen, aber auch in die Entstehung von Krankheiten.

Lernen ist nur möglich, weil die Verknüpfungen zwischen den Nervenzellen im Gehirn fortwährend umgebaut werden: Je häufiger bestimmte Reizübertragungswege...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Membranprotein in Bern erstmals entschlüsselt

Dreidimensionale (3D) Atommodelle von Proteinen sind wichtig, um deren Funktion zu verstehen. Dies ermöglicht unter anderem die Entwicklung neuer Therapieansätze für Krankheiten. Berner Strukturbiologen ist es nun gelungen, die Struktur eines wichtigen Membranproteins zu entschlüsseln – dies gelingt relativ selten und ist eine Premiere in Bern.

Membranproteine befinden sich in den Wänden der Zellen, den Zellmembranen, und nehmen im menschlichen Körper lebenswichtige Funktionen wahr. Zu ihnen gehören...

Im Focus: Quantenbeugung an einem Hauch von Nichts

Die Quantenphysik besagt, dass sich auch massive Objekte wie Wellen verhalten und scheinbar an vielen Orten zugleich sein können. Dieses Phänomen kann nachgewiesen werden, indem man diese Materiewellen an einem Gitter beugt. Eine europäische Kollaboration hat nun erstmals die Delokalisation von massiven Molekülen an einem Gitter nachgewiesen, das nur noch eine einzige Atomlage dick ist. Dieses Experiment lotete die technischen Grenzen der Materiewellentechnologie aus und knüpft dabei an ein Gedankenexperiment von Bohr und Einstein an. Die Ergebnisse werden aktuell im Journal "Nature Nanotechnology" veröffentlicht.

Die quantenmechanische Wellennatur der Materie ist die Grundlage für viele moderne Technologien, wie z. B. die höchstauflösende Elektronenmikroskopie, die...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Gravitationswellen im Einsteinjahr

28.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Strömungen in industriellen Anlagen sichtbar gemacht

28.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Konzepte gegen Fachkräftemangel: Demografiekonferenz in Halle

27.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Siemens an der Sicherheit: Lösungen für jede Anforderung

28.08.2015 | Messenachrichten

Biofabrikation von künstlichen Blutgefäßen mit Laserlicht

28.08.2015 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Forscher entwickeln Methode zur Manipulation von Molekülen

28.08.2015 | Physik Astronomie