27 October 2014
An international research team have found two new compounds, which could have the ability to reduce inflammation associated with diseases such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
The compounds - named OD36 and OD38 - appear to inhibit signals that trigger inflammation from a specific enzyme dubbed RIPK2, which activates high-energy molecules to remind the immune system to battle inflammation.
Published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the research is the first to indicate the effect of blocking RIPK2 and its relation to inflammatory disease.
Normally, RIPK2 sends warning signals to cells when a bacterial infection has occurred, which triggers the release of white blood cells. These identify and encircle pathogens and causes blood to accumulate, which causes the red and swollen areas characteristic of inflammation.
However, when something goes wrong in this process, inflammation increases dramatically and tissue becomes destroyed.
Dr Derek Abbott, senior author and associate professor of pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, said the findings provide "a strong rationale for further development and optimisation of RIPK2-targeted pharmaceuticals and diagnostics".
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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