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

 

Wood Producers: Crisis In New Zealand Log Supply

New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei yesterday to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. More>>

Consents And Taxes: Trustpower 'Very Disappointed' With Judgement

Trustpower is "very disappointed" with a Supreme Court ruling dismissing its bid to claim tax deductions on $17.7 million of project costs in a case closely watched by large-scale infrastructure developers. More>>

ALSO:

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Economic Update: RBNZ Says Rate Cut Seems Likely

The Reserve Bank will likely cut interest rates further as a persistently strong kiwi dollar makes it difficult for the bank to meet its inflation target, it said. The local currency fell. More>>

ALSO:

House Price Action Plan: RBNZ Signals National Lending Restrictions

The central bank wants to cap bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restore the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent, according to a consultation paper released today. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news