What happens when the body attacks itself?


29/03/2011

Many chronic diseases are the result of the immune system mistakenly perceives the information about what the body is attacked by foreign bodies. From the resulting false alarm, the body is formed to combat the inflammatory process with the enemies - the natural reaction of immunity. But in reality, the immune system is properly understood the threat and actually worked against its own cells and tissues of the body.

If this situation is not corrected, the inflammation may become chronic and finally lead to psoriasis, arthritis or multiple revmotoidnomu other inflammatory conditions. Professor Berit Jonze and her colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim have found one of the culprits of this process - the enzyme phospholipase A2 (phospholipase), PLA2.

"This is an enzyme that triggers inflammation" - explained Professor Jonze. "We are currently conducting research on the various molecules, which, we believe, could stop the activities of PLA2, stopping, so the inflammatory response."

The research of Professor PLA2 Jonze was the starting point for the company "Avexxin", which appeared in 2005. About a year later, the company plans to begin the first clinical trial on a cure for psoriasis. In parallel testing, the researchers also continue to test other molecules that can prevent revmotoidny arthritis and inflammation of the kidneys.

Despite common to all three diseases goal braking action of the enzyme PLA2, scientists will need different ways to accomplish it. Since the enzyme operates differently in different types of cells and tissues, anti-inflammation requires a number of molecules. The president of the company "Avexxin", explained that the company could have chosen to study a variety of other inflammatory diseases, but revmotoidny arthritis and kidney inflammation are characterized by their complex development.

"Revmotoidny arthritis is a very common disease, so effective medications have a beneficial impact on the health of many people. Renal inflammation is a rare disease, and so far no cure for it does not exist. Patients should be constantly subjected to frequent dialysis and intensive care, so that medicines for the treatment of this disease will bring a lot of benefit. "

The company’s researchers argue that the cure for psoriasis will be available in the medical market for already 5-6 years. For the other two diseases, the researchers still need to conduct some research to find the most effective single molecule among the possible candidates. The research results will be announced soon.

The introduction of a new drug to the markets - it is a long, ongoing process. In this case, the researchers first mixed with the enzyme PLA2 molecule in vitro possible to observe, whether the molecule is capable of neutralizing the activity of the enzyme. If yes, the same test will be done with human cells in the laboratory. "It is important that the molecule only affects the PLA2 enzyme and no others" - said Professor Jonze. "Too much influence can lead to side effects."

The final phase before testing drugs on humans includes a variety of tests on animal models. The drug being developed for the treatment of arthritis revmotoidnogo now reached this phase, whereas the molecules that remove kidney inflammation, is not so well developed. Various enzymes play a role in turning out healthy cells in the defunct cell. According to the data of Professor Josiah, the enzyme PLA2 exerts its negative effects at an earlier stage than enzymes eliminated by developed drugs that have great benefits for patients.

"Medication is too strong actions can have serious side effects" - explained Professor Josiah. "This means that the patient must be very sick to suffering from the side effects were justified" - explained Professor Josiah. Our goal - to develop more effective drugs that act at an earlier stage and have fewer side effects. "

Medications that are present in currently in the market, as well as those that the professor and her colleagues are still developing, can treat only the symptoms, meaning inflammation. Since the causes of chronic inflammatory diseases are not yet known, it is still impossible to get to the root of them and destroy them all.

Original: Sciencedaily Translation: M. Potter


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