The building blocks of happiness are fighting diseases
Laughter is the best medicine – it has been a favorite for a long time. It's no wonder that he laughs happy and who is happy, releasing happy hormones. The International Research Group recently discovered that one of the happiness hormones of Happiness actually strengthens our immune system and even contributes to the fight against diseases.
Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) and the Boston Hospital in Harvard have recently shown a completely new way to combat autoimmune diseases, asthma, allergies and even cancer. Focus on research is a building block with which the body produces happy hormones serotonin and dopamine. The study group found that this building block activated the defensive cells of the immune system. The results of the work have recently been published in the prestigious Nature magazine.
What do common killer cells and happy hormones have?
Both killer cells (T cells) of our immune system, as well as serotonin and dopamine, require the same building block for work. The International Research Group identified the tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) hormone of the happiness molecule as the primary activator of our defense cells. "The fascinating thing about our discovery is that a system that is actually known in neurobiology can play such a key role in the immune defense of T cells," said IMBA director Josef Penninger in a press release.
Independently fight against cancer
What the body is capable of has recently demonstrated a new approach in which its own immune system is deliberately activated in order to be able to fight independently against cancerous cells in the body. These findings were rewarded with the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Penninger's team deepened the understanding of immune defense, activation and metabolic processes, more specifically studied the biology of immune cells and found new possibilities for versatile medical applications.
Completely new and wide use options
"This new approach connects two completely different systems in our body and it differs from all previously known immune control points," Penninger said. This opens up a wide range of therapeutic options that can be used, for example, against inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, allergies, skin diseases or cancer.
BH4 makes soldiers of the immune system ready to fight
BH4 has been known for some time to scientists. It is known that the molecule is involved in many metabolic processes. What's new is that BH4 also controls the growth of T cells that act as "soldiers of our immune system." According to researchers, this process occurs with the metabolism of iron. This is also the reason why people with iron deficiency or anemia often suffer from immune problems.
How our immune system works
The IMBA research group explains the defensive process of the immune system: "T cells patrol our bodies and expose pathogens or degenerate cells that can become tumors." When such a meeting occurs, T cells will take place through BH4 activated: it begins to multiply and begin to fight. However, this could lead to misinterpretation, as incorrectly activated T cells begin to attack their own body cells. This event can cause allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases.
Target control of the immune system
"Autoimmune diseases and allergies are among the most commonly occurring diseases around the world and urgently require therapies," says Penninger. In the new approach to autoimmune diseases, BH4 is designed to be braked so that the T cells are not installed in a constant attack mode. Consequently, they would cease to destroy healthy tissue or cause chronic inflammation. The first clinical studies of the new QM385, which are supposed to inhibit BH4, are already in the initial blocks.
The procedure turns to the fight against cancer
On the contrary, an example of cancer where BH4 promotion can help the immune system to better detect and target cancerous cells. Initial tests in mice have already shown that BH4 helps rodents in the fight against tumors. "If you can find the interconnections of various biological systems in the body, as in this case, the nervous system and immune system, you can sometimes make incredible discoveries," sums up the research team of their findings. (Vb)