Hydrogen Peroxide Marshals Immune System
ScienceDaily (June 4, 2009) — When you were a kid your mom poured it on your scraped finger to stave off infection. When you got older you might have even used it to bleach your hair. Now there’s another possible function for this over-the-counter colorless liquid: your body might be using hydrogen peroxide as an envoy that marshals troops of healing cells to wounded tissue.
Using the zebrafish as an animal model, researchers in the lab of Harvard Medical School professor of systems biology Timothy Mitchison and Dana Farber Cancer Institute professor Thomas Look have discovered that when the tail fins of these creatures are injured, a burst of hydrogen peroxide is released from the wound and into the surrounding tissue. Teams of rescue-working white blood cells respond to this chemical herald, crawl to the site of damage, and get to work.
“We’ve known for quite some time that when the body is wounded, white blood cells show up, and it’s really a spectacular piece of biology because these cells detect the wound at some distance,” says Mitchison. “But we haven’t known what they’re responding to. We do know something about what summons white blood cells to areas that are chronically inflamed, but in the case of an isolated physical wound, we haven’t really known what the signal is.”
These findings are reported in the June 4 issue of the journal Nature.
Here’s the link with full color imaging and everything
Hydrogen Peroxide Marshall Immune System