director of the , and her colleagues at , revealed new insight into pro-inflammatory macrophages and their relation to autoimmune diseases, as published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US (PNAS).
Pro-inflammatory macrophages contribute to immune protection in infection, but also to disease pathogenesis in autoimmune diseases, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and many conditions of chronic inflammation.
“There is still lot of unknown in the study of the molecular basics of inflammation,” said Dr. Diamond, an autoimmune disease expert. “With this work, we were able to identify and design a peptide that is able to reverse the body’s inflammation response.”
During inflammation, leukotrienes – produced from arachidonic acid by 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) – help regulate leukocyte trafficking, chemotaxis and diapedesis from the bloodstream into injured tissue. Through in vitro and in vivo testing, Dr. Diamond was able to develop a mimetic peptide which is critical to the resolution of inflammation and can be regulated by high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) and HMGB1 plus C1q.
Dr. Diamond’s Feinstein Institutes colleagues, including Feinstein Institutes President and CEO Kevin J. Tracey, MD, discovered the role of HMGB1 in inflammation in 1999.
“As a leader in the fields of immunology and autoimmunity, Dr. Diamond's scientific and clinical perspective has opened many new research paths," said Dr. Tracey, who co-authored the paper. “Her current discovery offers a completely new way to think about how to make experimental drugs for patients with severe inflammation.”