Pathological Programming of the Immune System by Neuropsychiatric Factors Among Residents of Siberia: the Prospects of Treatment and Prevention of Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases
The international laboratory of translational cell and molecular biomedicine has launched a unique research studying the pathological programming of the immune system by stress which causes cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
– Our first task is to determine the ways in which different kinds of stress programme pathological functions of the cells of the innate immune system – first of all, of monocytes and tissue macrophages in our blood – and also to determine the longevity of such programmes, - reports the head of the laboratory of translational cell and molecular biomedicine professor Yuliya Kzhyshkovska. – Our main hypothesis is that stress programmed cells refuse to perform their direct function of maintaining the homeostatic balance and tissue regeneration and induce indolent latent inflammatory response instead. As a result tumour cells and atherosclerotic plaques are formed and neuron functions are impaired. Thus, by programming the immune system stress leads to cardiovascular and oncological diseases, which are the main causes of death and disability not only in Siberia but in other regions as well.
To study how various factors, such as society, psychology, life-style and eating habits, genetics and individual immune responses, affect the development of diseases and how they interact with each other the authors of the project are going to develop innovative mathematical models which will allow them to calculate the key parameters of the system and predict individual responses of every patient.
As a result of the fundamental research innovative diagnosis tests for clinical use will be created within this project. These tests and diagnostic programmes will be applied to evaluate the risk of oncological and/or cardiovascular diseases created by stress and neurological disorders using biomarkers and immune cells of a patient. The research team is also planning to define the molecular mechanisms of programming of the immune system by stress and determine molecular targets in order to develop new patient-specific therapeutic approaches.
The project team includes Russian and foreign leading experts in immunology, cell and molecular biology, virology, oncology, cardiology, neurology, psychology and mathematical modelling. Harald zur Hausen, a 2008 Nobel Prize winner, has also joined the project.