Immune Enzyme Imprinting and Celiac Disease Research
A new health service called imune is based on the concept that all living cells need some type of defense mechanism against invading microorganisms that can cause disease. In biology, resistance to infection is the ability of various multicellular organisms to withstand harmful microorganisms. Resistance to infection includes both specific and nonspecial components. The nonspecial components only act as eliminators or barriers of an array of pathogenic organisms irrespective of their virulence or their antigenic make up. The most important aspect of imune is that it targets pathogenic microorganisms by using antibiotics, and not the protective mechanisms of the immune system.
The key role of imune lies in the use of cytokines. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) drugs are used to treat acute inflammation and pain and relieve pain by relaxing the muscles. These drugs, however, may have side effects such as gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, and diarrhea. Chronic use of NSAIDs results in the generation of autoantibodies that bind to the cells of the immune system and thus reducing their capacity to fight infections. In effect, these immune cells become drug-resistant.
In order to treat inflammatory diseases, researchers have introduced cytokines into the treatment of immune disorders like multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Imune was initially developed to identify and measure the expression level of inflammatory cytokines in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and chronic hepatitis. Based on this study, the first novel method for the monitoring of cytokine activity was pioneered. It was identified that highly enriched, long-suspected () antibodies that bind the IgG2a and IgM components of the receptor complex that is recognized by the receptors for lectin (A lectin-like protein found in most epithelial cells) can be detected and measured during acute rheumatoid arthritis pain using a combination of ELISA and immunoreactivity assays.
From the initial observations made using this methodology, several key points about the role of IgM and IgG antibodies in the acute inflammatory response were established and discussed. According to the researchers, the key point was that although the IgM antibodies identified and bind to the lectin molecule, the patterns of the binding activity are different between individuals and these patterns could not be interpreted solely by analyzing the frequencies of the individual antibodies. To solve this problem, imune was introduced as a previously undetected class of soluble molecules that recognize IgM and IgG molecules. The key feature of this molecule is that it can bind to and interact with the elections and therefore provides a valuable diagnostic tool to identify the acute inflammatory response in rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders.
The second major achievement of this group was the development of an integrated method to compare the intensity of the various binding patterns observed with the use of the imune algorithm. This method, known as the IMAGE protocol was developed based on the principles of differential analysis using multiple antibodies. The imune algorithm was applied to the immunodensity profile of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and compared to the normal control group. The IMAGE protocol identified several new molecules that specifically bind to IgM and IgG molecules and thus provide a reliable diagnostic assay for the clinical pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers also showed that this technique can be used to examine the roles of other disease specific antibodies such as the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, soluble interferon gamma (S IgA) and human (Homo) ligand. In addition, this protocol can be used to examine the molecular basis of immunoglobulin and interferon in the context of immune function and abnormal inflammatory diseases.
The researchers next explored the potential use of the imune assay in celiac disease by studying the effects of different gluten proteins on human leucocyte proliferation (in Lep). They identified several new motifs identified in the Celiac gene database that were present in unrelated celiac disease patient samples and showed that these motifs functioned as enhancers of the gluten response in vitro. Next, they tested their experimental findings on animals; surprisingly, these findings were also replicated in humans. The researchers concluded that they have identified a number of new enhancers of the gluten response and showed that they are capable of enhancing the proliferation of leucocytes and T cells that are necessary for the development of the human intestine.