Immune cells have an inflammation ‘switch’ that involves the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway, and targeting it may prevent or even reverse the chronic inflammation seen in diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and in conditions associated with aging, an early study suggests.
The study, “An Acetylation Switch of the NLRP3 Inflammasome Regulates Aging-Associated Chronic Inflammation and Insulin Resistance,” was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
The molecular triggers responsible for provoking the immune system, however, are not clear.
A team led by researchers at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, discovered a molecular “switch” that controls chronic inflammation in the body.
The scientists used mouse models of aging, and developed a cell-based system that models aging-associated inflammation. It simulates the effects of inflammation over metabolism — including for insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition marked by cells that no longer respond well to insulin.
“My lab is very interested in understanding the reversibility of aging,” Danica Chen, professor at UC Berkeley, and the study’s senior author, said in a news story.
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