Function and Fate of Human Granulocytes and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs)  

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Murray Clarke

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type

Speciality area
Haematology, Infection, Cross-cutting

Recruitment Site


Our body’s immune system helps stop infections and keeps you healthy, but it can also cause disease if it is activated inappropriately. We are interested in how an important controller of the immune system (Interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α)), is activated and controlled. 

IL-1α is normally inactive, but after being chopped into two smaller pieces it gains activity. Individuals recruited to this study show changes in the DNA code for IL-1α that may change how it is cut and activated. Indeed, a previous CBR study showed half as much IL-1α activity in people with these DNA code changes. This follow up study will help us understand exactly why less IL-1α is activated in people with these DNA changes.  

This information will help us understand what IL-1α normally does to keep people healthy, and also what it does during disease and how we may stop this with medical intervention.

Participation: For this study we recruited 20 healthy volunteers from the Cambridge BioResource to give a 9ml blood sample. Study visits were run by the Cambridge BioResource team.

Organisation: This study is organised by Professor Murray Clarke from the University of Cambridge. 

Publication: The common IL1A single nucleotide polymorphism rs17561 is a hypomorphic mutation that significantly reduces interleukin-1α release from human blood cells.