Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have studied which genes are expressed in overactive immune cells in mice with asthma-like inflammation of the airways. Their results, which are published in the journal Immunity, suggest that the synthesis and breakdown of fats plays an important part in the process.
The job of the human immune system is to read our environment and react to potentially harmful substances. In asthma, the immune system is overactive, causing inflammation in the lungs and symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
A kind of immune T cell called a Th2 cell plays a vital part in asthma-related inflammation, but the rarity of these cells and a lack of sensitivity technology has made these cells hard to study in any detail.
Unique profile of hundreds of genes