Taiwan, U.S. researchers find possible cure for lupus

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2016/11/10
By: Chang Ming-hsuan and Y.F. Low

Taipei, Nov. 10 (CNA) A Taiwan-U.S. research team has identified an RNA molecule that plays a key

Yang Huang-yu (楊皇煜)

Yang Huang-yu (楊皇煜)

role in repressing regulatory T cells, a discovery that may lead to a possible cure for autoimmune diseases such as lupus and ankylosing spondylitis.

Yang Huang-yu (楊皇煜), a nephrologist at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, explained that T cells can prevent the human immune system from becoming hyperactive and mistaking healthy body cells for invading pathogens.

Previous studies found that in the event of an infection, the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) will make T cells lose their regulatory functions, resulting in the immune system attacking healthy cells, he said.

The latest study, conducted by a team of scientists from Chang Gung and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, discovered that IL-6 represses T cells through microRNA-17 (miR-17), and removing microRNA-17 will help the immune system restore its balance, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

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