When Good Cells Go Bad

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have gained new insight into the workings of white blood cells that contribute to several deadly diseases — an insight that offers hope for new and more successful treatments.

Dr. Ariel Munitz and doctoral student Danielle Karo-Atar of TAU’s Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine found a receptor on the cells — called macrophages — involved in stopping the macrophages from becoming overactive and harmful.

Macrophages serve an essential role in the immune system, “eating” cellular debris and pathogens. But they also contribute to several diseases, including colon cancer and lung disease. In the laboratory, the researchers were able to determine how the receptor suppresses the macrophage behavior that contributes to colon cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

“We identified a cell-surface receptor on the macrophages, paired immunoglobulin-like receptor B, that regulates their response to suppress their wound-healing capacity,” Dr. Munitz told the ISRAEL21c news website. He says the receptor could be a good candidate for drugs targeting diseases linked to macrophage activity.

Their preliminary findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. For more, see the ISRAEL21c story:

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Categories Cancers