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

 

Tourism: China Southern Airlines To Fly To Christchurch

China Southern Airlines, in partnership with Christchurch Airport and the South Island tourism industry, has announced today it will begin flying directly between Guangzhou, Mainland China and the South Island. More>>

ALSO:

Dodgy: Truck Shops Come Under Scrutiny

Mobile traders, or truck shops, target poorer communities, particularly in Auckland, with non-compliant contracts, steep prices and often lower-quality goods than can be bought at ordinary shops, a Commerce Commission investigation has found. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport: Government, Council Agree On Funding Approach

The government and Auckland Council have reached a detente over transport funding, establishing a one-year, collaborative timetable for decisions on funding for the city's transport infrastructure growth in the next 30 years after the government refused to fund the $2 billion of short and medium-term plans outlined in Auckland's draft Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

Bullish On China Shock: Slumping Equities, Commodities May Continue, But Not A GFC

The biggest selloff in stock markets in at least four years, slumping commodity prices and a surge in Wall Street's fear gauge don't mean the world economy is heading for another global financial crisis, fund managers say. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Investors Driving Up Auckland Housing Risk - RBNZ

The growing presence of investors in Auckland's property market is increasing the risks, and is likely to both amplify the housing cycle and worsen the potential damage from a downturn both to the financial system and the broader economy, said Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer. More>>

ALSO:

Annual Record: Overseas Visitors Hit 3 Million Milestone

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand surpassed 3 million for the first time in the July 2015 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. The record-breaking 3,002,982 visitors this year was 7 percent higher than the July 2014 year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news