Chil­dren’s food al­ler­gies re­lated to im­muno­sup­pres­sion

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES - STAFF RE­PORTER

SCI­EN­TISTS have found new evi dence to ex­plain how food tol­er­ance emerges over time in nor­mal in­di­vid­u­als, ac­cord­ing to re­search pub­lished in Sci­ence. Food al­ler­gies af­fect around 15 mil­lion Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing many chil­dren. Symp­toms of al­ler­gies and in­tol­er­ance can range from rel­a­tively mi­nor, such as a harm­less skin rash, to po­ten­tially fatal ana­phy­lac­tic shock. Many in­di­vid­u­als out­grow their al­lergy as they reach adult­hood. This is thought to be due to the im­mune sys­tem learn­ing to tol­er­ate food that it pre­vi­ously per­ceived as “for­eign.”

Re­searchers from La Jolla In­sti­tute for Al­lergy and Im­munol­ogy (LJI) in San Diego, CA, led by Charles Surh, PhD, wanted to ex­plain why chil­dren, who have more lim­ited ex­po­sure to novel foods than adults, are more prone to food al­ler­gies. They hy­poth­e­sized that con­sum­ing a nor­mal diet would stim­u­late cells in the gut that pre­vent the im­mune sys­tem from re­ject­ing food. Food and pathogens both dis­play macro­molec­u­lar mark­ers known as anti­gens. These anti­gens an­nounce to the im­mune sys­tem that a food is “for­eign.”

Mouse stud­ies have pre­vi­ously looked at how the body would dis­tin­guish anti­genic “friend” from “foe.” The mice were fed with an egg pro­tein that they had not eaten be­fore. Re­searchers ob­served that an im­muno­sup­pres­sive cell, called a Treg cell, was pro­duced in the gut. These Treg cells blocked the im­mune re­sponse to the new sub­stances. It was not known if this would hap­pen when young mam­mals en­coun­tered new foods in “real life.” Surh used “anti­gen-free” mouse mod­els to rep­re­sent an im­muno­log­i­cal blank slate. The mice were raised in a germfree en­vi­ron­ment. They were also fed a diet of amino acids, the build­ing blocks of pro­teins, in­stead of foods that con­tain the pro­teins them­selves.

This made the mice “im­muno­log­i­cally naïve,” be­cause amino acid build­ing blocks are not big enough for the im­mune sys­tem to rec­og­nize them. It meant that the mice had lit­tle or no pre­vi­ous con­tact with anti­genic pro­teins and other macro­molecules. Other mice were germ free but fed on a nor­mal diet. Molec­u­lar marker anal­y­sis re­vealed that the mice that con­sumed amino acids had no Tregs in the small in­tes­tine. In con­trast, mice that were fed a nor­mal pro­tein diet had a large num­ber of Tregs. This sug­gests that when pro­teins are con­tained in food, they stim­u­late Treg de­vel­op­ment. It also in­di­cates that Tregs in the gut of nor­mal mice might serve to pre­vent a po­ten­tially dis­as­trous im­mune re­sponse to those pro­teins.

He said from the be­gin­ning of Pak­istan this in­sti­tu­tion al­ways stood shoul­der by shoul­der with na­tion in nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

He preyed to Almighty to save this coun­try from any nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Chair­man Red Cres­cent Dr Saeed Elahi said that the ISLAMABAD—Gover­nor Pun­jab Ma­lik Muham­mad Rafique Ra­jwana on Fri­day said that it was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the gov­ern­ment to pro­vide free and qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion to the poor and de­prived seg­ment of the so­ci­ety as it was their ba­sic right. Ad­dress­ing the 15th Con­vo­ca­tion of the Fatima Jin­nah Women Univer­sity Rawalpindi at Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, he said that gov­ern­ment was mak­ing all­out ef­forts for the pro­mo­tion of ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor by fo­cus­ing on higher ed­u­ca­tion. Gover­nor Pun­jab con­ferred de­grees, gold, sil­ver medals to the po­si­tion hold­ers who com­pleted their de­grees in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories from the var­sity and con­grat­u­lated them, their fac­ulty and par­ents on this his­tor­i­cal achieve­ment.

He ap­pre­ci­ated the pas­sion of those fe­male stu­dents who came from far-flung ar­eas of the coun­try to get ed­u­ca­tion in the univer­sity and said that it was the re­sult of their hard­work and prayers of their par­ents. Gover­nor Pun­jab urged the suc­cess­ful stu­dents of the var­sity to play their piv­otal role and en­light­ened the whole so­ci­ety with power of ed­u­ca­tion. He said that “I es­pe­cially con­grat­u­late those par­ents who work hard and taught their chil­dren de­spite low in­come and fi­nan­cial prob­lems as the ed­u­ca­tion was only a dream for them”.

Al­lah Almighty, he said, has born all hu­man­ity on equal rights, adding, the ed­u­ca­tion is as com­pul­sory for all. The coun­try was fac­ing many prob­lems in­clud­ing un­em­ploy­ment, il­lit­er­acy, poor­ness, which would be over­pow­ered soon as the coun­try is now on the path of de­vel­op­ment, he added. Ra­jwana said that it was the high time to forge unity rather than quar­rel­ing with each other for pol­i­tics and gov­ern­ment adding that without it how the na­tion will progress.

Gover­nor Pun­jab lauded the sac­ri­fices of the lives of the se­cu­rity forces of Pak­istan for the restora­tion of peace and asked stu­dents not to be worry as their fu­ture is now in safe hands. He also of­fered the cor­po­rate sec­tor to take part in the pro­mo­tion of ed­u­ca­tion by pro­vid­ing gold medals and job op­por­tu­ni­ties to the stu­dents. Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Chair­man Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ah­mad said that when HEC was es­tab­lished in 2002 the ra­tio of the women ed­u­ca­tion was very low which now has been reached to al­most 50%.

He ad­mired the role of women in ed­u­ca­tion and said that they were per­form­ing very well in all cat­e­gories of the ed­u­ca­tion in­clud­ing, med­i­cal, en­gi­neer­ing, sci­ence, teach­ing etc. He said that no coun­try can de­velop un­less their women are ed­u­cated adding that Fatima Jin­nah Women Univer­sity was do­ing very well in this re­gard. Dr Mukhtar said that gov­ern­ment was fo­cus­ing on higher ed­u­ca­tion as it has dou­bled the an­nual bud­get of HEC.

“We have best in­sti­tu­tions, fac­ulty in Pak­istan”, he said and added the gov­ern­ment was mak­ing ef­forts to strengthen the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor by ini­ti­at­ing many pro­jects in­clud­ing Fee Re­im­burse­ment Pro­gramme, Lap­top Scheme es­pe­cially in FATA, GB and in South­ern Pun­jab. He urged the teach­ing fac­ulty to play their im­por­tant role to bring pos­i­tive change and pro­mot­ing char­ac­ter build­ing in the so­ci­ety.

The stu­dents, he said, have need of char­ac­ter­i­za­tion be­sides the ed­u­ca­tion, he re­marked. Ear­lier in the wel­com­ing ad­dress Vice Chan­cel­lor of the univer­sity Prof. Dr Sam­ina Amin Qadir urged its Alumni to be­come proud of the var­sity by serv­ing this coun­try as you are the am­bas­sador of your coun­try. She also de­manded of Rs 100 mil­lion from the gov­ern­ment for the in­stall­ment of bio­met­ric sys­tem, se­cu­rity mea­sures and other pro­jects of her in­sti­tu­tion.

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