A novel "Molecular brake" on arthritis
Recently, the scientists has explored an antimicrobial peptide produced by neutrophils which also acts as a “molecular brake” to prevent runaway inflammation. This finding suggests that therapies based on these peptides could assist in treating autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Co-author Mohini Gray, Principal Investigator at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research at University of Edinburgh, Scotland said, “This discovery opens the door to new approaches for the treatment and prevention of chronic inflammation. We are hopeful that with further research, these treatments could be exploited in the near future."
Also, authors predicted that this discovery gave ways for peptide-based therapeutics that combine both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties into a single drug. Previous research revealed that these peptides, alpha defensins diminished inflammation and also decreased the bacterial load in mice infected with pathogens. The researchers wanted to find out how this process works for this study. The experiments with human cells determined that apoptotic neutrophils release the alpha defensins. The proteins then enter macrophages and remarkably inhibit protein translation but, without instigating the unfolded-protein response or affecting mRNA stability.
The authors cease to know that “This is, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of a peptide released from one cell type (neutrophils) directly regulating mRNA translation in another (macrophages)." Also, “By preventing protein translation, [the alpha defensing] functions as a “molecular brake” on macrophage-driven inflammation, ensuring both pathogen clearance and the resolution of inflammation with minimal bystander tissue damage.”
These discoveries could lead to new treatments for chronic inflammatory disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers pronounced. They also predicted that such therapies could even halt arthritis from flaring up in the first place.