Huntington’s Hinders Immune Cell Migration
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Huntington’s disease, a genetic neurodegenerative condition, can strike a person in the middle of their life but still not much is known about the debilitating illness. Now researchers have looked into the role of immune cells in Huntington’s and discovered the illness hinders the migration of immune cells.
The discovery was made by isolating immune cells called microglia from the brain of mice with Huntington’s disease, which is caused by a mutation in the Huntington gene. The researchers examined these cells along with immune cells from the peripheral blood.
In their examination, researchers found immune cells isolated from the brains of the rats and those taken from the peripheral blood were defective in their migration ability.
Furthermore, defects in the immune cells’ ability to migrate could be seen before symptoms of Huntington’s disease began to appear, leading to the suggestion that changes in immune cell function may underlie some symptoms of Huntington’s disease.
The findings of this study may help researchers further understand Huntington’s disease and what may be underlying factors for certain symptoms of the disease. The more that is known about the disease will help to design future treatments and hopefully one day a cure.
Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation, November, 2012