Research Sheds Light on the Inflammatory Response

Research Sheds Light on the Inflammatory Response

A team of researchers have made an important discovery about how the inflammatory response is started. Inflammation is a response to the presence of micro-organisms that cause disease. The process sees white blood cells such as neutrophils moved from blood vessels to the infected tissue, which allows them to destroy the disease-causing microorganisms.

This is an important bodily process, but one that must be very carefully controlled. Prolonged tissue infiltration by the white blood cells can result in substantial damage to healthy tissue. In the case of inflammatory diseases such as sepsis, the damage occurs quickly and can be fatal. Sepsis can kill patients in as little as 12 hours and is responsible for 25% of hospital deaths even though it is involved in just 3.4% of hospital cases.

An international team of researchers led by Professor Paul Moynagh, Head of the Department of Biology and Director of the Human Health Research Institute at Maynooth University, identified a protein called pellino2 which plays an important role in the triggering of inflammation.

Pellino2 has been shown to trigger the movement of neutrophils from blood vessels to the tissues. The researchers were able to demonstrate that blocking this protein in treatment models for sepsis resulted in the suppression of inflammation.

Moynagh and his team believe their research could pave the way for the development of a robust treatment for sepsis. The discovery is particularly timely as cases of sepsis are on the rise. The increase in the number of patients undergoing surgical procedures, more widespread use of immunosuppressive drugs, and antibiotic resistance have all contributed to an increase in vulnerability to sepsis.

If drugs can be developed to suppress or block the activity of the pellino2 protein, it could give doctors a new method of treating sepsis which could save many lives. Further, if drugs can be developed to block the pellio2 protein and treat sepsis, they could also be used to treat other diseases involving chronic inflammation such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.

The study – The E3 ubiquitin ligase Pellino2 mediates priming of the NLRP3 inflammasome – has recently been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Leave a Reply