Inhibiting Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) in Immune Injury and Pathologic Clotting

Deficient or excess immune system activities cause many human diseases. To understand the mechanisms of immune injury and their links to pathologic clotting, University of Utah Health investigators Christian Yost, MD, Guy Zimmerman, MD, and colleagues defined features of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Continue reading → Inhibiting Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) in Immune Injury and Pathologic Clotting

Translating Influenza Immunization in Pregnancy into Infant Immunity

Infants with influenza are at increased risk for adverse outcomes, particularly in the first six months when they are unable to mount a sufficient response to influenza immunization. Few large-scale studies have evaluated the impact of maternal immunization during pregnancy on subsequent infant influenza outcomes. To address this gap, Julie Shakib, DO, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 245,386 pregnant women and their infants over nine influenza seasons. They found that infants born to women reporting influenza immunization during pregnancy had risk reductions of 70% for influenza infection and 81% for influenza hospitalization in the first six months. Continue reading → Translating Influenza Immunization in Pregnancy into Infant Immunity

The Power of mRNA in Anucleate Platelets

Andrew Weyrich, MD, and his group made the seminal discovery that anucleate human platelets transform messenger RNA (mRNA) into mature products that code for protein. More recently, his group found that a specific type of microRNAs (Dicer1-dependent) and their precursors (megakaryocytes) modulate the expression of target mRNAs important for cellular function. Continue reading → The Power of mRNA in Anucleate Platelets

(Pro)Renin Receptor: A Novel Target for Hypertension, Kidney Disease, and Metabolic Syndrome

The enzyme renin plays a role in the development of hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Studies in mice and rats unexpectedly uncovered other biological activities of the receptor for renin and its precursor, (pro)renin receptor (PRR). University of Utah Health researcher Tianxin Yang, MD, PhD, and colleagues have made a series of new discoveries about the function of PRR. They demonstrated that PRR activation stimulates sodium and water retention by the kidney, causing hypertension; over-activation of PRR also causes kidney damage. Targeting this pathway with a compound that blocks PRR is highly effective in treating hypertension and chronic kidney disease in rodents. Continue reading → (Pro)Renin Receptor: A Novel Target for Hypertension, Kidney Disease, and Metabolic Syndrome