17 January 2022
5 min read
[Press release] Forever Young: a new genetic brake for an ageing immune system
A Parkinson’s disease gene turns out to provide the key to modify diseases related to immunoageing
In a world with an ageing global population, we could all use some good news when it comes to age-related health. The latest findings in a study led by Dr Feng Hefeng at the Luxembourg Institute of Health’s (LIH) Immune Systems Biology Group could be just the tonic, having identified surprising age-defying effects on the immune system resulting from a gene deficiency usually causing Parkinson’s disease.
“Our work paves the way for building up a regulatory link between immunometabolism and immunoageing in T cell compartments via DJ-1. <It> also offers a unique animal model with reduced immunoageing phenotypes to allow researchers to explore the potential roles of a relatively juvenile immune system in the immune and ageing associated diseases. Understanding the detailed molecular mechanisms through which DJ-1 regulates immunoageing still requires further investigation”
The study was published in the journal EMBO Reports on 17th January 2022, part of the renowned EMBO Press, under the full title “DJ-1 depletion prevents immunoaging in T-cell compartments” (DOI: 10.15252/embr.202153302).
Funding and collaborations
This study was supported by grants from the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) CORE programme grant (CORE/14/BM/8231540/GeDES), FNR AFR-RIKEN bilateral programme 653 (TregBAR, 11228353, F. Q. H. and M.O.), PRIDE programme grants (PRIDE/11012546/NEXTIMMUNE and PRIDE/10907093/CRITICS). Ni Zeng and Christophe Capelle were supported through the PhD fellowship programme via PHD-2015-1/9989160 and PRIDE/2015/10907093, respectively. Work from Rejko Krüger was supported by research grants from Fonds National de Recherche de Luxembourg (FNR) within the PEARL Exellence Grant for Research and within the National Centre for Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s disease (NCER-PD). The work was also partially supported through intramural funding of LIH and LCSB through Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR) of Luxembourg.
It was performed in close collaboration with national and international partners including the University of Luxembourg (UL), the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), the Japanese Agency for Medical Research and Development, the Odense University Hospital of the Southern Denmark University (SDU) and University Hospital Essen (UHE).
About the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)
The Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) is a public biomedical research organization focused on precision health and invested in becoming a leading reference in Europe for the translation of scientific excellence into meaningful benefits for patients.
LIH places the patient at the heart of all its activities, driven by a collective obligation towards society to use knowledge and technology arising from research on patient derived data to have a direct impact on people’s health. Its dedicated teams of multidisciplinary researchers strive for excellence, generating relevant knowledge linked to immune related diseases and cancer.
The institute embraces collaborations, disruptive technology and process innovation as unique opportunities to improve the application of diagnostics and therapeutics with the long-term goal of preventing disease.