[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 7-Oct-2011
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Contact: Dan Doron
dorond@ccf.org
216-312-0428
Lerner Research Institute

Cleveland Clinic study discovers new targets for treating inflammatory, autoimmune diseases

Researchers find pathway to potentially block disease-inducing inflammation

Friday, October 7, 2011, Cleveland: Researchers have discovered a cellular pathway that promotes inflammation in diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis. Understanding the details of this pathway may provide opportunities for tailored treatments of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Discovery of this pathway was the work of an active collaboration between Xiaoxia Li, Ph.D., and Thomas Hamilton, Ph.D., Department Chair, both of the Department of Immunology at Lerner Research Institute of Cleveland Clinic.

Their publications in Nature Immunology, selected for a News and Views article in the same issue, portray how a protein molecule known as interleukin-17 (IL-17) spurs inflammation by recruiting specific white blood cells to sites of infection and injury, producing a strong, pathogenic response.

Being able to block this pathway may treat IL-17-induced inflammatory diseases. Molecular factors discovered by Li and Hamilton make this concept a potential strategy.

"We are excited by the possibilities that this new research opens up for developing improved therapeutics for these difficult diseases," Hamilton said.

"Being able to collaborate like this really expedites the science," Li added, "ultimately leading, we hope, to profound improvement for those suffering from these autoimmune and inflammatory conditions."

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About Cleveland Clinic

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals and 16 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 155,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at http://www.clevelandclinic.org/. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.



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