DNA-damage causes immune reaction and inflammation and is linked to cancer development
[2015-02-17] For the first time scientists from Umeå University show the importance of DNA damage in fine tuning of our innate immune system and hence the ability to mount the optimal inflammatory response to infections and other biological dangers. The study is published on 17th February in the very prestigious international journal Immunity (CellPress).
The research group of Nelson Gekara within the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at Umeå University is interested in understanding how the innate immune system, our first line of defense is regulated and how defects in the immune system contribute to infectious and inflammatory diseases. Our immune system does not lie idle waiting to be attacked before it responds. Even in the absence of infections, our immune system is in a constant state of alert. Among the immune mediators that are constantly produced at low levels and which keep our immune system awake are a group of factors called type I interferon. A very delicate balance in the production of type I interferons is essential for health: insufficient production results in susceptibility to viral infections, while excessive production normally leads to autoimmune/inflammatory diseases.