Detection of immune cells using specific antibodies in tissue sections of the spleen of wild type animals (left panel) and mice with T cell-specific deletion of LRH-1 (right panel). (green: T lymphocytes, blue: B lymphozytes, red: macrophages). Copyright: Thomas Brunner

The positive and negative role of LRH-1 during inflammation

The research group around Professor Thomas Brunner at the University of Konstanz discovers the role that the LRH-1 protein plays in the immune system – Inhibiting this protein could help treat inflammatory diseases

Immune cells prevent bacteria, parasites or viruses from entering the body when, for example, the intestinal epithelium is injured. They respond with restricted inflammatory reactions, which are controlled via various processes in the healthy organism. If an organism suffers from Crohn’s disease, for example, the immune cells are continuously activated. The research group led by Professor Thomas Brunner at the University of Konstanz has demonstrated that the transcription factor LRH-1 plays a key role in immune cells. That this protein can actually be found in so-called T cells was already confirmed by his team several years ago. The researchers in Konstanz were now able to show that the transcription factor is responsible for ensuring that an organism’s immune defence functions properly. If it is not present, no immune response is activated. The researchers view this research result as an opportunity to develop therapeutic approaches or drugs that will control the damaging immune response by inhibiting LRH-1, as in Crohn’s disease or liver diseases. Read more...