Judging the weapons of the body itself against tumors is the idea behind cancer imunotherapy. This approach was followed by a research team of the Austrian Science Academy Molecular Biotechnology Institute (IMBA) along with international colleagues. They have explored a substance that really plays an important part in the human nervous system, a block of dumpamine "contamination of hormones" and serotonin.
Two active substances regulate the immune system
The research shows that one construction block of this hormone of happiness, BH4, activates the immune system. Because BH4 turns T cells on and off, says cell biologist Shane Cronin of IMBA, lead author of the study. "If there is a lot of BH4, then the T cells turn on, ready to fight and aggressively," Cronin said.
The cell biographer and colleagues at IMBA, Harvard University and the Max Planck Heidelberg Foundation were able to identify two active substances that use this mechanism and therefore the system's regime immunity. "BH4 is already on the market with a different purpose," Cronin said. The other active ingredient was discovered and tested by the scientists themselves. You could now switch the T cells selectively on or off.
IMBA video on the research results
An important candidate for cancer therapy
This means that BH4 is an important candidate for future cancer imunitations, such as actuated T cells and fights cancer cells. Initial mice experiments have already been successful. The other drug that Cronin and his colleagues has found is differently different from the opposite: it regulates BH4 and causes the immune system to close.
By reducing BH4, one can regulate overlapping T cells that attack healthy cells in the body in automatic illnesses, says Cronin. In the fluid colitis of bowel disease, in multiple sclerosis, in allergies and asthma, the scientists were already successful in the mouse model. The new drug not only switched off BH4 and so the T cells, but washing the entire immune system. Therapeutic approaches, those with autoimmune diseases and those against cancer, will be tested clinically in the next few years.
Also appear as antidepressant
If the drug is successful in the patient, they could come on the market in a few years. Meanwhile, Cronin wants to continue his research in another direction: Because BH4 is affecting the "happiness hormones" serotonin and thus human humility, the cell biologist investigates the relationship between the immune system and the nervous system in more detail.
"We may also be able to increase levels of serotonin in the brain with the same drug or similar drug," said Cronin. This could not only lead to an increase in the depression depression, but also in neuropathic diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, so the scientist's hope.
Marlene Nowotny, Ö1-Wissenschaft
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