Sign In
  • ENG

Scientists discovered protein molecules that boost immunity

The protein is found to act as a target for restricting the inflammatory response thereby helping the immune system to fight against infection without causing any damage to the tissues.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : July 13, 2022 2:18 PM IST

A group of research scientists have discovered how a protein molecule promotes the production of nitric oxide inside the immune cells, which in turn aids in the prevention of the body from the microbial attack. The protein is found to act as a target for restricting the inflammatory response thereby helping the immune system to fight against infection without causing any damage to the tissues.

Ravi Ranjan, Indian-American scientist from the University of Illinois at Chicago said, 'NFATc3 is one of the many related protein molecules that are found to play a vital role in gene regulation of T cells and B cells of the defense system. Hence, we wanted to know whether this molecule had any role in macrophages, the specialised killer cells of the immune system that attack, engulf and destroy the bacteria.' (Read: Natural remedies to boost your immune system)

'Our study demonstrates that NFATc3 is required for macrophages to effectively fight infection, because without it, they can't make their primary bactericidal agent - nitric oxide,' he added. Macrophages kill using chemicals, including nitric oxide, which they synthesise in response to infection. Macrophages are also important in reducing the inflammation in sepsis, an out-of-control reaction to infection that can cause organ failure and death.

Also Read

More News

When the researchers exposed macrophages to chemicals that signal a bacterial infection, they found that NFATc3 increasingly bound to genes that boost the production of nitric oxide synthase - the enzyme that makes nitric oxide. The binding of NFATc3 suggests the molecule is turning on those genes and upping the production of nitric oxide. Macrophages deficient in NFATc3 produced much less nitric oxide synthase under the same conditions. (Read: How Chyawanprash improves your immunity)

'Without the ability to synthesise inducible nitric oxide synthase, a macrophage would be missing a key element of its chemical weaponry,' Ranjan explained. 'We would expect these cells to be much less effective at killing bacteria and easing sepsis,' he added. 'The immune system must strike a balance between fighting infection and going overboard as it does in sepsis and actually causing harm,' Ranjan said.

'An overproduction of nitric oxide can actually contribute to lung injury even as it helps clear bacterial infections.'An NFATc3 inhibitor, given as a drug to people in septic shock, may be a way to ease the harmful effects that come with an overproduction of nitric oxide,' he added. The study was published in Journal of Innate Immunity. (Read: Protein M A deceptive protein that misdirects our immune system)

Tips to improve your immunity

Our lives have become more stressful, we get very little physical activity on a daily basis and our eating habits have deteriorated. Is it a surprise then that more and more of us frequently complain of health problems right from frequent coughs and colds to diabetes and heart disease? Thankfully, there are a variety of foods that are packed with ingredients that can boost your immune system.

Dietary approach Diet plays an important role in protecting your body from the attack of diseases by pumping nutrients and supplying stuff that makes our body to function smoothly.

Sleep well Our body produces reparative and growth-promoting hormones during sleep. Sleep deprivation is reported to cause higher levels of stress hormone, thus depressing the immune function and increasing the release of inflammatory chemicals.

Exercise regularly Being physically active and moderate exercising contributes to better blood circulation, allowing the immune cells and other necessary substances to move freely through the body and efficiently conduct their function. Read the other amazing tips to improve your immunity

With inputs from IANS

You may also like to read:

For more articles ondisease and condition, check out our Diseases and Conditions section. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on