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Home Industry News Study isolates ‘master switch’ for macrophages in inflammation prevention

Study isolates ‘master switch’ for macrophages in inflammation prevention

17th January 2011

A new study has identified a potential method of controlling the behaviour of macrophages that could prove beneficial in combating inflammatory diseases.

Researchers from Imperial College London have determined that the protein IRF5 can act as a molecular "master switch" that dictates whether these immune cells stimulate inflammation or suppress it.

By reducing IRF5 levels in the body, macrophages may be able to fight conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and lupus more effectively, while increasing the protein could assist those with weak immune systems.

According to researchers, this discovery could prove beneficial to sufferers of inflammatory diseases who are unable to benefit from current anti-TNF treatments.

Dr Irina Udalova from the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Imperial College London said: "Diseases can affect which genes are switched on and off in particular types of cells. Understanding how this switching is regulated is crucial for designing targeted strategies to suppress unwanted cell responses."

This comes after Temple University School of Medicine scientists reported earlier this month that they have discovered an enzyme inhibitor that can help to control lung inflammation better.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800346731-ADNFCR

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