Archive for the ‘Immune System’ category


January 29, 2007

white blood cell, lymphocyteThe BBC is reporting that John’s Hopkins researchers have discovered one of the ways the immune system naturally restricts its own activity. Carabin is a protein produced by white blood cells, and places a drag on the immune reponse to an infection. Why would the body want to cripple its own immune response? How could it be useful for the body to hold back when an infection is in play? If you have an autoimmune disease, you already know the answer. When unrestricted, the immune system can be as much an enemy as a friend.

Researchers hope that this discovery will yield benefits for transplant patients in controlling the rejection of new organs, and possibly in the treatment of autoimmune diseases as well. However the protein, because of its size, will not be easy to incorporate into a drug.