Editorial [Hot Topic: Mechanisms of Cell Death: Biomedical Implications (Executive Editor: E. Ottaviani)]

Ottaviani, Enzo
January 2008
Current Pharmaceutical Design;Jan2008, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p197
Academic Journal
Cell death is a basic element occurring not only in the normal organism functioning but also in many forms of aging and pathologies. The reviews here collected focus on the important role that the different types of cell death, or the interplay among them, can play in many forms of aging and pathologies discussing also how cell death may be exploited for therapeutic purposes in human diseases. McLean et al. focus on the most recent and important advances in understanding how a wide range of viruses manipulate the survival and death of their hosts. Viruses appear to be able to intervene at all steps of eukaryotic cell death, both to prevent death and ultimately to provoke it. By unraveling the specific details surrounding virus-host interactions, novel therapeutic targets, and aid in improved vaccine design, as well as a clearer insight into the complex machinery of eukaryotic cell death have been reported. Vannini et al. describe some functional changes encountered by endothelial cells during the aging process that predispose these cells to apoptosis. It is clear how inflammation and redox imbalance are the main features involved in this death process thus they propose a dietary use of safe anti-oxidants as NAC as suitable tool in the prevention of endothelium aging and subsequently in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Salvioli et al. discuss how cell death phenomena are modulated during aging and what is their possible role in the aging process. Since the “decisional process” that leads the cell to death is very complex, the systems biology approach has been shown to be effective in giving structure and increasing understanding of both apoptosis and cell senescence, thus offering a promising tool to disentangle the inherent complexity of the biochemical decision processes that lead to cell death or survival. Cossarizza focuses on the relationship between apoptosis and HIV. The infection with HIV is characterized by the activation of several molecular and cellular mechanisms that the organism triggers to cope with the virus and eliminate dangerous, infected cells. The virus can play different parts, because immune cells devoted to its control have to be killed, but such cells are often required for viral replication. In such a complex equation, the action of different antiretroviral drugs and cytokines can significantly influence apoptosis. Matarrese et al. in their review summarize the findings reported in literature on a phagic process that appears to be related to self-cannibalism: the xeno-cannibalism. This was described as the ability of certain cells, e.g. metastatic cells, to cannibalize their siblings as well as cells from the immune system. Furthermore, they suggest a pathogenetic role for cannibalic behavior in human pathology and point at this surprising cellular aggressiveness as an innovative pharmacological target in the clinical management of metastatic disease. Giovannetti et al. consider some key facts on the relationship of lymphopenia to autoreactivity, the mechanisms controlling positive and negative selection in the thymus, the role of apoptosis in selected primary immunodeficiency states and in systemic and organ-specific autoimmunity, with examples from human diseases and their animal models. Rovere-Querini et al. report recent developments on the control of apoptosis induction and execution, discussing how cell death may be exploited for therapeutic purposes. The links among cell death, persisting inflammation, stem cell recruitment and activation in experimental models of complex human diseases are also analyzed. Malorni et al. review the recent developments in the comprehension of the role played by type 2 transglutaminase (TG2) in eukaryotic cells, focusing on the role exerted by TG2 on mitochondrial physiology and on the regulation of cell death pathways at the basis of neurodegenerative diseases....


Related Articles

  • The Impact of HIV and Malaria Coinfection: What Is Known and Suggested Venues for Further Study. Hochman, Sarah; Kim, Kami // Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases;2009, p1 

    HIV and malaria have similar global distributions. Annually, 500 million are infected and 1 million die because of malaria. 33 million have HIV and 2 million die from it each year. Minor effects of one infection on the disease course or outcome for the other would significantly impact public...

  • TNF, Cell Death and Inflammation. Bixby, Jacqueline; Ray, Tathagat Dutta; Chan, Francis Ka-Ming // Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy A;Dec2005, Vol. 4 Issue 6, p557 

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNFa) is a pleiotropic cytokine that mediates diverse biological responses. In the immune system, TNFa facilitates many aspects of immune responses against pathogenic challenges. While TNFa plays a critical role in the immune defense against pathogens, hyper-activation of...

  • In vivo and in vitro genetic evidence of involvement of neuregulin 1 in immune system dysregulation. Marballi, Ketan; Quinones, Marlon P.; Jimenez, Fabio; Escamilla, Michael A.; Raventós, Henriette; Soto-Bernardini, Maria; Ahuja, Seema S.; Walss-Bass, Consuelo // Journal of Molecular Medicine;Nov2010, Vol. 88 Issue 11, p1133 

    Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) has been implicated in several disorders including breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia. Also, recent evidence suggests that NRG1 may play a role in regulation of inflammation and immune system response. We therefore hypothesized that a...

  • Th1/Th2 Balance: The Hypothesis, its Limitations, and Implications for Health and Disease. Kidd, Parris // Alternative Medicine Review;Aug2003, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p223 

    One theory of immune regulation involves homeostasis between T-helper 1 (Th1) and T-helper 2 (Th2) activity. The Th1/Th2 hypothesis arose from 1986 research suggesting mouse T-helper cells expressed differing cytokine patterns. This hypothesis was adapted to human immunity, with Th1- and...

  • Gender Differences in Pulmonary and Immune Response in Acute Experimental Endotoxicosis. Kosyreva, A.; Simonova, E.; Makarova, O. // Bulletin of Experimental Biology & Medicine;Jul2012, Vol. 153 Issue 3, p340 

    Differences in the immune and inflammatory response were revealed in the lungs of male and female Wistar rats on day 1 after administration of LPS in a dose inducing the development of acute bacterial endotoxemia. Females showed more pronounced morphofunctional signs of immune system activation...

  • Intraindividual long term stability and response corridors of cytokines in healthy volunteers detected by a standardized whole-blood culture system for bed-side application. Mueller, Silke C.; März, Reinhard; Schmolz, Manfred; Drewelow, Bernd // BMC Medical Research Methodology;2012, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p112 

    Background: The variation of immune cell activities over time is an immanent property of the human immune system, as can be measured by the stimulated secretion of cytokines in cell cultures. However, inter-individual variability is considerably higher. Especially the latter is the major reason...

  • Maternal Modulation of Neonatal Immune System Development. Fagoaga, Omar R.; Nehlsen-Cannarella, Sandra L. // Developmental Immunology;Mar2002, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p9 

    Changes in programming of neonatal immune development were effected through maternal immune modulation ( Leishmania major inoculation). In progeny of these dams, immune profiles in both blood and spleen were changed throughout the neonatal period and were pronounced after weaning. White blood...

  • Biological Activity of Cytokines: An Evolutionary Perspective. Scapigliati, G.; Buonocore, F.; Mazzini, M. // Current Pharmaceutical Design;Aug2006, Vol. 12 Issue 24, p3071 

    It appears evident that teleost fish are at present the vertebrate group in which, excluding mammals, most information on the immune system is available. However, despite the great impetus on the discovery of genes homologous to mammalian immunomodulatory molecules, the knowledge on biological...

  • Islet Inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes (T2D): From Endothelial to �-Cell Dysfunction. Ehses, Jan A.; Calderari, Sophie; Irminger, Jean-Claude; Serradas, Patricia; Giroix, Marie-H�l�ne; Egli, Anja; Portha, Bernard; Donath, Marc Y.; Homo-Delarche, Fran�oise // Current Immunology Reviews;2007, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p216 

    Activation of the innate immune system has been recognized as being associated with T2D patients and those being at increased disease risk. Here we show that inflammation takes place in pancreatic islets both in various T2D animal models and in patients, as reflected by the presence of immune...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics