Biomarkers

Th17 Cells and IL-17: a possible link between inflammation and neuronal decline in Multiple Sclerosis

Th17 Cells and IL-17: a possible link between inflammation and neuronal decline in Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS). A major component of the immunopathology of MS is the T cell-driven inflammatory attack from the peripheral immune system towards the CNS.

Spot on: Use of Dried Blood Spots (DBS) for serological immunoassays

Spot on: Use of Dried Blood Spots (DBS) for serological immunoassays

Serological immunoassays provide a complementary approach to PCR-based molecular diagnostics in the detection and monitoring of the immune response of individuals exposed to a pathogen. In addition to providing valuable information on the seroprevalence of infection, these tests also provide insight into the development and duration of immunity in convalescent individuals. This information is essential for the development of intervention strategies, which shed light on questions surrounding the spread of the disease and identify individuals at risk of reinfection.

Macrophages transfer mitochondria to sensory neurons to resolve inflammatory pain

Macrophages transfer mitochondria to sensory neurons to resolve inflammatory pain

Inflammatory pain and hyperalgesia are considered functional features of an immune response, intended to protect tissue from further damage. At the affected site, immune cells and inflammatory mediators activate sensory neurons, resulting in pain signalling. The general consensus asserts that this pain passively resolves following cessation of the inflammatory stimulus. However, in many patients with chronic inflammatory diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease), resolution of inflammation does not translate to cessation of pain. This subsequently leads to chronic pain, where pain signals remain active for weeks to years, severely impacting a patient’s quality of life. The mechanism by which inflammatory pain is successfully resolved remains poorly understood.

The prospect of immunotherapy for combating Alzheimer’s disease

The prospect of immunotherapy for combating Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive incurable neurodegenerative disorder that often leads to dementia, loss of motor function and cognitive decline. Current treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease slow the progression of neuronal degeneration and maximise function as far as possible, however, no treatment to date has managed to alter the disease process within the brain.

Rapid expansion of Treg cells protects from collateral colitis following a viral trigger

Rapid expansion of Treg cells protects from collateral colitis following a viral trigger

Regulatory T (Treg) cells are important for the induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance; therefore, they are key in preventing excessive immune responses and autoimmunity and are responsible for maintaining homeostasis. Treg cells contribute to the complex pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including

Immune biomarkers in depression

Immune biomarkers in depression

The identification of clinically relevant and reproducible biomarkers in the field of psychiatry has received increased attention recently in order to improve the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment strategies of psychiatric disorders.

Faecal Calprotectin as a biomarker in Crohn’s disease

Faecal Calprotectin as a biomarker in Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, which causes inflammation of your digestive tract with symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, diarrhoea, and weight loss. It is a recurrent disease interspersed with periods of remission. Control of the inflammatory process allows for the healing of the intestinal mucosa, which leads to lower recurrence and less complication. Identification of markers that can safely distinguish between remission and increased endoscopic disease activity, including mild activity, is important. Colonoscopy is the standard method, however, it is invasive. The ideal markers for the assessment of inflammatory activity in Crohn’s disease patients should be non-invasive, accurate and low-cost.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors and MDSCs

Immune checkpoint inhibitors and MDSCs

The development of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) targeting lymphoid cells has remarkedly transformed therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer. However, response rates to T cell checkpoint inhibitors vary between individuals with some patients showing minimal to no clinical benefit. In these patients, resistance to this immunotherapy may be partly attributed to myeloid- derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), a heterogeneous population of myeloid progenitors and immature myeloid cells that function as immune suppressors.

Potential concussion biomarkers discovered in circulating blood after brain injury

Potential concussion biomarkers discovered in circulating blood after brain injury

Concussions are a commonly diagnosed injury in many sports, particularly at college or professional levels. While the diagnosis of a concussion usually depends upon a careful assessment of symptoms, a simple blood test may help to distinguish those who have suffered brain injury from those who have not. Recently, a large study of sports-related concussions in college athletes pointed to a set of proteins that are elevated in circulating blood post-injury (REF), identifying potential biomarkers for rapid, point-of-care identification of a concussion.

Complement C4 Genes and Sex-Biased Disease Susceptibility

Complement C4 Genes and Sex-Biased Disease Susceptibility

There are many examples of diseases in which there is a sex bias, however, the underlying biology of this bias has remained poorly understood. Such examples include autoimmune diseases, which occur nine times more commonly in women than in men, whilst schizophrenia is more prevalent in men than in women and the disease course is more severe.