Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Leading discovery will help treat skin disease

Leading discovery will help treat skin disease


A world first discovery about the way skin cells deal with inflammation may prove useful in treating skin diseases.

Scientists from the University of Auckland have found that skin cells have an appetite for fat during inflammation. Small organelles, known as mitochondria, are the powerhouse of cells and take in nutrients to break them down and create energy.

The research shows that these essential organelles also control the immune response in the skin cells.

This ground breaking work was carried out by senior research fellow, Dr Chris Hall in a research group directed by Professors Philip and Kathy Crosier from the University’s Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology.

Dr Hall’s work has uncovered a mechanism where fatty acids are broken down in the mitochondria of skin cells to produce reactive oxygen species that then help to guide immune cell migration into inflamed skin.

The research was published online today in the high profile online journal, Nature Communications.

“The discovery highlights how mitochondria in the skin can use fatty acids to help drive inflammation associated with infection and would healing,” says Dr Hall. “Excessive inflammation within the skin can be detrimental and contributes to inflammatory skin diseases such as dermatitis“

“It is hoped that we will be able to develop drugs to block this new metabolic-immunologic connection with the skin cells and treat these diseases,” he says.

The discoveries were made in zebrafish, a tropical fish that is used widely in biomedical research.

“The transparent nature of Zebrafish embryos enabled live imaging of metabolic and immunological processes during inflammation of the skin,” says Dr Hall.

“The mechanisms we have found can be both good and bad: good because attracting immune cells to the skin during inflammation can help fight infection, but bad because some immune cells can also destroy host tissues,” he says.

“The idea of using anti-inflammatories on skin diseases is to suppress the immune response, and this is a new way that we have found that the skin generates that immune response,” says Professor Phil Crosier. “It’s a new target that we can potentially use to interfere with that immune response.”

“The next step is to use this system that Chris has discovered ad a strong basis for undertaking a drug discovery programme with new treatments for skin diseases,” he says.

The research in this group is funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

The investigators are affiliated with the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery based at the University of Auckland which has recently had ongoing funding confirmed as a national Centre of Research Excellence.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news