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Hotter bodies fight infections, tumours better

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The hotter our body temperature, the more our bodies speed up a key defence system that fights against tumors, wounds or infections, new research by a multidisciplinary team of mathematicians and biologists from the Universities of Warwick and Manchester

Higher body temperatures speed our bodies’ responses to infections, wounds and tumours – researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Manchester prove

Slight rise in temperature and inflammation – such as a fever – speeds up cellular ‘clock’ in which proteins switch genes on and off to respond to infection

New understanding could lead to more effective and fast-working drugs which target a key inflammation protein found to be critical for the temperature response

Interdisciplinary team of Warwick mathematicians and Manchester biologists used modelling and lab experiments to jointly make discovery

The hotter our body temperature, the more our bodies speed up a key defence system that fights against tumours, wounds or infections, new research by a multidisciplinary team of mathematicians and biologists from the Universities of Warwick and Manchester has found.

The researchers have demonstrated that small rises in temperature (such as during a fever) speed up the speed of a cellular ‘clock’ that controls the response to infections – and this new understanding could lead to more effective and fast-working drugs which target a key protein involved in this process.

Biologists found that inflammatory signals activate ‘Nuclear Factor kappa B’ (NF-κB) proteins to start a ‘clock’ ticking, in which NF-κB proteins move backwards and forwards into and out of the cell nucleus, where they switch genes on and off.

This allows cells to respond to a tumour, wound or infection. When NF-κB is uncontrolled, it is associated with inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.


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