Immune hematology

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identify a molecular switch that causes immune cells call macrophages to clean up cellular debris caused by infections inst of contributing to inflammation and tissue injury. Their findings are report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Macrophages are a type of immune cell find throughout the body. These cells can produce inflammation, which is good in moderation because inflammatory signals bring other immune cells to a specific location to clear an infection.

Causes immune cells

However; when inflammation gets out of control, as it can in cases of inflammatory diseases; it can cause excess cellular and tissue damage; contributing to a vicious cycle that is very difficult to reverse. But macrophages also play a significant role in reducing inflammation when they engulf cellular debris or foreign microbes that contribute to inflammation. The mechanism behind macrophages’ ability to switch back and forth between these two diametrically opposed roles has long-puzzled scientists.

Researchers led by Saroj Nepal; research assistant professor in the department of pharmacology at the UIC College of Medicine; have find that a molecule call Gas6 is require to induce macrophages to perform their anti-inflammatory role by engulfing and digesting cellular debris that can contribute to inflammation. The molecule could serve as a potential drug target for drug makers interest in coaxing the cells toward their anti-inflammatory state to help treat people.

Department of pharmacology

In a mouse model of acute lung injury; Nepal and colleagues found that lung macrophages express both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins. One of the anti-inflammatory proteins was Gas6. In a mouse model of acute lung injury where the animals’ macrophages were artificially deplete of Gas6; clearance of inflammatory molecules and proteins in the lungs was severely impair; and the inflammation  not be resolve. When they artificially boosted levels of Gas6 in the mouse macrophages; inflammation was resolved much faster than in mice with normal macrophages.

the immune system defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist; but they are all produced and derive from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. Leukocytes are found throughout the body; including the blood and lymphatic system.

Blood and lymphatic system

The number of leukocytes in the blood is often an indicator of disease. There are normally between 4×109 and 1.1×1010 white blood cells in a litre of blood, making up approximately 1% of blood in a healthy adult. An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is call leukocytosis; and in leukopenia, this number is much lower than the lower limit. The physical properties of leukocytes, such as volume, conductivity, and granularity; may change due to activation, the presence of immature cells; or the presence of malignant leukocytes in leukemia.