Apoptotic cell death is a critical process in natural tissue homeostasis and results in immediate removal of the dying cells. In January Journal of Clinical Investigation Mai-Lan Huynh and colleagues from National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, show that apoptotic cell recognition and clearance also induces accelerated resolution of inflammation via the release of TGF-β1.

Huynh et al. observed that direct instillation of apoptotic cells into sites of local inflammation in the lungs and peritonea of mice resulted in increased production of TGF-β as well as enhanced resolution of the inflammation. This effect seemed to require the presence of phosphatidylserine on the apoptotic cells, because cells that did not express PS during apoptosis failed to induce TGF-β1 (J Clin Invest 2002, 109:41-50).

These data could lead to the development of novel anti-inflammatory therapies that do not have the significant side effects seen with current, conventional...

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