Findings link disease specific anitbodies to activation of T cells for the first time

January 24, 2002

Torrance, Calif. (January 25, 2002) - Harbor-UCLA Research & Education Institute (REI) announced new findings indicating that antibodies specific to Graves' disease bind to cell surface receptors. These are distinct from thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptors. This interaction leads to activation of key genes and T cell activation. It is believed that antibody/receptor complex initiates a cascade of events culminating in T cell activities and thyroid growth. This research, conducted by principal REI investigator Terry J. Smith, MD and collaborators at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston was published recently in The Journal of Immunology, 168:942-950,2002.

" What is exciting about these findings is that now, for the first time, we can tie together pathogenic antibodies in Graves' disease with T cell activation," said Dr. Smith, Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. "This holds promise for future research to learn how to turn off the expression, thereby eradicating the disease state. Graves' disease is often associated with profound metabolic derangements and potentially site-threatening changes in the tissues around the eye," he added.

Dr. Smith and his collaborator, William Cruikshank, PhD at Boston University School of Medicine have been studying the pathogenesis of inflammation associated with many conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Graves' disease, and lupus. This research group has recently identified a number of potential pathways that may be utilized by lymphocyte derived cytokines in driving the tissue remodeling that occurs in Graves' disease. Dr. Smith and his associates have found that fibroblasts from the orbital connective tissue (eye area) differ from fibroblasts found in other parts of the body. The orbital fibroblasts appear to be particularly susceptible to inflammatory reactions. Fibroblasts are highly specialized cells and react differently based on the tissue from which they derive. The discovery that fibroblasts are heterogeneous is having a significant impact on the way scientists study inflammatory response occurring in Graves' disease and other autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus.

Dr. Smith joined REI in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, served his residency in medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago and completed fellowships in biochemistry and molecular biophysics at University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and Columbia University. He has received numerous awards and honors recognizing his contributions to biomedical science, including being awarded Outstanding Young Physician, University of Missouri School of Medicine, and the Milly and Steve Liu Scholar in Molecular Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Research & Education Institute. Dr. Smith has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and reviews on cell biology, endocrinology and immunology.
-end-
Harbor-UCLA Research & Education Institute, located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, is a leading independent, not-for-profit biomedical research facility with an international reputation for scientific discovery, the training of physician-scientists and the provision of community service programs. It is an affiliate of both the UCLA School of Medicine and the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and has an annual budget of $58 million. The Institute traces its roots back to 1952, when researchers and physicians joined forces with the UCLA School of Medicine on the campus of what was then known as Harbor General Hospital to conduct a handful of research studies. Today, more than 1,000 research projects and clinical trials are being conducted at REI, advancing scientific understanding in order to improve medical outcomes and promote innovation in such areas as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious disease, vaccine evaluation and research, autoimmune disorders, inherited disorders, male contraception, various aspects of women's health, and developmental disorders and other pediatric health problems.

LA BioMed

Related Fibroblasts Articles from Brightsurf:

Vanderbilt researchers make counterintuitive discoveries about immune-like characteristics of cells
Biologists reveal that tissue perturbations by chemotherapy agents promote stem cell expansion and that fibroblast cells exhibit unexpected, immune-like behavior.

Researchers discover a cell type responsible for cardiac repair after infarction
The researcher of the Faculty of Science of the UMA Adrián Ruiz-Villalba, who is also member of the Andalusian Center for Nanomedicine and Biotechnology (BIONAND) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA), is the first author of an international study that has identified the heart cells in charge of repairing the damage caused to this organ after infarction.

Discovery of cells that heal cardiac damage after infarction
Researchers at Cima and the Clinica Universidad de Navarra (Spain) have led an international study identifying the cardiac cells responsible for repairing the damage to this organ after infarction.

A soft-hearted approach to healing
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba and Keio University have clarified the roles of matrix stiffness and mechanotransduction as well as the signaling pathways in the transformation of cardiac fibroblasts into contractile cardiomyocytes and show that soft substrates comparable to native myocardium improve the efficiency of this cardiac reprogramming.

Molecule secreted by cancer-associated fibroblasts promotes anticancer drug resistance
Joint research at Kumamoto University in Japan discovered a new mechanism for anticancer drug resistance in gastric cancer.

Mix and match: New 3D cell culture model replicates fibrotic elements of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is a deadly cancer characterized by prominent fibrosis, which plays a crucial role in disease progression and therapeutic resistance.

Cancer cells cause inflammation to protect themselves from viruses
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have uncovered how cancer cells protect themselves from viruses that are harmful to tumors but not to healthy cells.

Rejuvenated fibroblasts can recover the ability to contract
A recent study from the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore has shown that rejuvenated fibroblasts can recover their ability to self-contract.

Study reveals disparity between fibroblasts of different pancreatic diseases
Fibroblasts present in different pancreatic diseases are genetically distinct and their functions are 'programmed' by the unique environment of each disease, according to new research from the University of Liverpool (UK).

Interactions between cancer cells and fibroblasts promote metastasis
In order to colonize other organs and grow into metastases, tumor cells that detach from the parent tumor need to manipulate their new microenvironment and create a 'metastatic niche'.

Read More: Fibroblasts News and Fibroblasts Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.