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Overview of the ”New Generation” Cytokines

Overview of the ”New Generation” Cytokines

In this review, published in Arthritis Research & Therapy Cem Gabay and Iain McInnes present the biology and relevant pathophysiology of several novel cytokines, with focus on their involvement in rheumatic diseases. This list includes the interleukin (IL)-1 superfamily (IL-18 and IL-33), the IL-12 superfamily (IL-27 and IL-35), the IL-2 superfamily (IL-15 and IL-21), and […]

Childhood Roots of Health Disparities

Childhood Roots of Health Disparities

Recently, in JAMA, Jack Shonkoff, W. Thomas Boyce and Bruce McEwen discussed a new way of thinking about health promotion and disease prevention. Adult conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer are often regarded solely as products of adult behavior and lifestyles. But in the JAMA review the authors outline a new […]

Early Childhood Stress is Associated With Elevated Antibody Levels to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Adolescence

Early Childhood Stress is Associated With Elevated Antibody Levels to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Adolescence

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) indicates that a stressful early childhood history affects the long-term functioning of the immune system, specifically evidenced by a secretion of higher levels of herpes simplex virus (HSV)-antibodies into saliva. The link between psychological stress and […]

Innate Immune Responses Linked to Seizures

Innate Immune Responses Linked to Seizures

A study published in the journal Brain indicates that the innate immune response to toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligands, most likely involving activated microglia and release of interleukin (IL)-1, results in increased neuronal excitability sufficient to trigger experimental seizures in vivo. An increasing body of evidence suggests that inflammatory processes may play an important role […]

Growth Hormone (GH) Replacement and Thymus Function

Growth Hormone (GH) Replacement and Thymus Function

A recent PLoS One study by Gabriel Morrhaye et al., demonstrates that the functional integrity of the somatotrope growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis is important for the maintenance of a normal thymus function in human adults. The secretion of growth hormone (GH) declines with aging until only low levels can be detected in individuals aged […]

Regulatory T Cells are Cerebroprotective in Acute Experimental Stroke

Regulatory T Cells are Cerebroprotective in Acute Experimental Stroke

A recent Nature Medicine study by Arthur Liesz et al. indicates that regulatory T cells (Treg) are cerebroprotective after experimental brain ischemia or stroke, and that interleukin (IL)-10 appears to be the major mediator of the cerebroprotective effects. Recent evidence indicates that inflammatory mechanisms such as up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and leukocytes’ invasion in the […]

PACAP as an Intrinsic Regulator of Treg Abundance

PACAP as an Intrinsic Regulator of Treg Abundance

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) provides perhaps the first evidence that endogenous pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) modulates the production or expansion of regulatory T cells (Treg) and T helper (Th)17 lymphocytes. PACAP is a 38-amino-acid neuropeptide identified in 1989 from […]

Estrogens and Dendritic Cells

Estrogens and Dendritic Cells

A study published in the Journal of Immunology demonstrates that estrogens may boost innate immunity by enhancing interferon (IFN)-γ production by CD11c(+) cells. In humans, the sex differences or the sexual dimorphism in immune defense is a well-known phenomenon. Females have more vigorous cellular and humoral immune responses, and they are more resistant to infections […]