New Control System of The Body

Researchers have recently discovered a new control system in the body that may help control the inflammation caused by an attack of the immune systems. Researchers from Berlin, Germany have been able to lessen the inflammation in the brain of mice that was caused by the immune cells. The researchers have discovered that a receptor found on the surface of T cells in the central nervous system seems to play a key role.

A receptor called the bradykin receptor 1, also simply known as B1, seems to control that infiltration of the immune cells into the central nervous system. The researchers activated the B1 receptor in mice suffering from encephalitis and were able to slow down the crossing of the immune cells through the blood brain barrier and into the central nervous system. This action led to a significantly decreased level of inflammation in the brain.

It has long been known that T cells sometimes attack the body’s own systems. When it is the central nervous system they attack, they can damage the myelin sheath, the insulating material of the nerve fibers, which is characteristic of diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Damage to the myelin can cause signal transmission from the brain to other parts of the body to slow down or become blocked or disturbed which leads to the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.

The researchers from Berlin, also working together with colleagues from Canada and the USA conducted a molecular analysis of the damaged tissue from patients that were suffering from MS. The analysis lead the researchers to discover the B1 receptor which was a part of the kallikrein-kinin-system, a pathway that plays a crucial role in the function of the CNS as well as the cardiovascular system of the body. The researchers detected the B1 receptor on the T cells of MS patients as well as those in mice afflicted with encephalitis.

In the mice model of the study, the researchers found out that encephalitis seems to get worse in mice that lacked B1 in their T cells. The researchers tried using a substance to activate the B1 receptors on the T cells. What resulted is the gradual slowing down of the T cells entering the CNS and a decreased level of inflammation of the brain.

According to Prof. Frauke Zipp, neurologist and MDC research group leader, "We have discovered a control mechanism, which reduces inflammation caused by the immune system. It remains to be seen if we succeed in developing a new therapy for chronic inflammation in the CNS, such as MS, in the future."


Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New Control System Of The Body Discovered." ScienceDaily 28 June 2009. 1 July 2009 .

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