The study published in the Nov. 8 edition of Science identifies a previously hidden pathway by which the body’s circadian clock controls the numbers of key inflammatory cells called interleukin-17-producing CD4+ T helper cells (TH17). The work could lead to new ways to rev up the body’s immune response to infection or dampen that response in the case of autoimmune diseases in which the body attacks its own tissues, said senior author Dr. Lora Hooper, Professor of Immunology and Microbiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator.
Co-authors include Neuroscience Chair and HHMI Investigator Dr. Joseph Takahashi, whose discovery of the mouse and human clock genes led to a description of a conserved circadian clock mechanism in animals. The lead author is Xiaofei Yu, an Immunology student in the UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Read more at: MedicalXpress