White blood cell 'master switch' discovery

This is some breaking news which applies to inflammatory autoimmune diseases. The news is from scientists at Imperial College London, who helped to invent anti TNF medication (which some of us are on, for example Humira/Adalimumab). Imperial college scientists are hoping that, by finding the ‘switch’ for inflammation, they will be able to develop medication that can also turn off the inflammatory switch, so helping people like us with Birdshot Chorioretinopathy.  We thought members might like to read about something that sounds as if it might be a  promising  scientific development, which furthers the understanding of how inflammation can be controlled.

Annie and Rea

“Scientists in the UK have identified a protein that acts as a ‘master switch’ in certain white blood cells, determining whether they promote or inhibit inflammation. They believe these findings, presented in the journal Nature Immunology, could aid treatments for diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which involve excessive inflammation. The study was funded in part by the MODEL-IN (‘Genomic determinants of inflammation: from physical measurements to system perturbation and mathematical’) project, which is backed with more than EUR 2.9 million under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).”

The full report from the EEC Research Centre  can be found at:

White blood cell ‘master switch’ discovery to aid rheumatoid arthritis treatments

EEC Research Information Centre – News 28th January 2011

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