New imaging technique sheds light on inflammation

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Washington, Oct 16 (ANI): Using an innovative new imaging technique, researchers at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine are studying how white blood cells (called neutrophils) respond to inflammation, and have revealed new targets to inhibit the response.

When the body is invaded by infection, the immune system counters by generating inflammation with deployment of white blood cells to the site of danger to kill invading bacteria.

However, inappropriate inflammation occurs in the absence of infection when tissues are damaged, and this inappropriate response contributes to diseases such as heart attacks and stroke.

Researchers used both experimental animal models and human white blood cells to discover that damaged tissue can release signals that attract white blood cells, and blocking these signal can prevent inappropriate inflammation.

"We have known how white blood cells find their way to sites of infection for many years, but understanding how, or even why white blood cells go to sites of sterile non-infectious tissue damage has been a real dilemma," says Dr. Paul Kubes, senior author of the study as well as Director of the Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation.

"Recognizing that damaged cells release "bacteria-like" signals that attract white blood cells and cause inflammation might allow for the development of a whole new class of therapeutics to combat inflammatory diseases."

The findings are published in the October 15th edition of Science. (ANI)

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