Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Things are moving soooo fast in the medical world. These researchers think they may have the roots of autoimmune disorders in our DNA. They appear to have found in autoimmunity, instead of pathogens amplifying the immune response, the patients own DNA was. This could be the origin of autoimmunity.
But scientists say they’ve figured out an “unexpectedly general” set of rules that determine how molecules become prone to patterns of self-destructive behavior, according to a study published this week by a UCLA team in the journal Nature Materials.
In healthy patients, viral DNA triggers an immune response by tripping a receptor called TLR9. But in patients with lupus or psoriasis, their very own “self-DNA” sets off the response.
The scientists at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and California NanoSystems Institute used several techniques to probe what was happening at the molecular level in those patients.
They found that a mix of organic and inorganic molecules were forming the patients’ DNA into a kind of liquid crystal zipper structure that bound to the TLR9 receptors – amplifying the immune response.
The “breakthrough” research at UCLA means hope for treating autoimmune disorders at their root cause – and not just the symptoms, said the scientists.
“Our research has identified a set of rules that tell us what types of molecules or materials can set off this aspect of the immune system,” said Gerard C.L. Wong, a professor bioengineering and chemistry at the school, and the lead author. “This new knowledge will make it easier to design new therapeutic strategies to control immune responses.”