When immune system T cells find and recognise a target, they release chemicals to attract more T cells which then swarm to help subdue the threat, shows a new study published today in eLife.
The discovery of this swarming behaviour, and the chemical attractants that immune cells use to direct swarms towards tumours, could one day help scientists develop new cancer therapies that boost the immune system. This is particularly important for solid tumours, which so far have been less responsive to current immunotherapies than cancers affecting blood cells.
“Scientists have previously thought that cancer-killing T cells identified tumours by randomly searching for them or by following the chemical trails laid by other intermediary immune cells,” says lead author Jorge Luis Galeano Niño, a PhD graduate at UNSW Sydney. “We wanted to investigate this further to see if it’s true, or whether T cells locate tumours via another mechanism.”
A team led by scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has engineered powerful new antimicrobial molecules from toxic proteins found in wasp venom. The team hopes to develop the molecules into new bacteria-killing drugs, an important advancement considering increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can cause illness such as sepsis and tuberculosis.
In the study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers altered a highly toxic small protein from a common Asian wasp species, Vespula lewisii, the Korean yellow-jacket wasp. The alterations enhanced the molecule’s ability to kill bacterial cells while greatly reducing its ability to harm human cells. In animal models, the scientists showed that this family of new antimicrobial molecules made with these alterations could protect mice from otherwise lethal bacterial infections.
There is an urgent need for new drug treatments for bacterial infections, as
Researchers have charted the activity of tens of thousands of genes in mouse immune cells over the course of an infection. The study from the University of Melbourne, Australia, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and their collaborators created the first full dynamic map of how cells learn to fight microbes and then preserve a memory of this for future infections.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Immunology, could help scientists develop new vaccines and therapeutics for a range of diseases by guiding their research into a particular set of immune cells, known as CD4+ T cells, that are essential for generating immunity.
The international research team studied the CD4+ T cells during an experimental infection of mice with malaria-causing parasites, which invade and multiply inside red blood cells. With the aid of machine learning techniques, the research team combined the gene activity data over four weeks of infection to
The Plasmodium parasite, which transmits malaria to humans through infected mosquitos, triggers changes in human genes that alter the body’s adaptive immune response to malarial infections, according to a team of researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). The findings could bring hope for novel therapeutic strategies and a vaccine to the hundreds of thousands of people who die annually from malaria, a preventable and curable disease, and another three billion people who are at risk of infection.
The NYUAD researchers, in collaboration with the Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme in Burkina Faso, NYUAD Assistant Professor of Biology Youssef Idaghdour, Associate Scientist Mame Massar Dieng, and Aïssatou Diawara, studied the blood of children in rural Burkina Faso, West Africa, and have discovered a new immune evasion strategy used by the Plasmodium parasite.
In the paper titled Integrative genomic analysis reveals mechanisms of immune evasion in P.
Osaka, Japan — The current COVID-19 climate has made vaccines, antibodies, and immune responses topics of everyday conversation. Now, it isn’t just immunologists who want to know how our bodies respond to re-infections months, years, or sometimes decades after an initial immune response. A new study by Tomohiro Kurosaki at Osaka University shows that this ability requires Bach2, a protein that regulates the expression of genes needed to instruct activated B cells under selection to become memory B cells.
Like most biological processes, immune responses are complicated. They involve numerous types of cells and proteins, performing precise step-by-step processes. And of course, we don’t know all of them yet. For example, memory B cells are a type of white blood cell that are created in lymph nodes or spleens during an infection. They stick around for years and allow
President Donald Trump claimed that he is “immune” to the coronavirus in a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.
Though experts think that most people develop an immune response after a COVID-19 infection, it’s unclear how strong this response is or how long the protection lasts.
There are no indicators that could reliably determine whether Trump is immune to reinfection.
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President Donald Trump claims he is immune to the coronavirus, but there’s no way he can be sure of that.
“It looks like I’m immune for, I don’t know, maybe a long time, maybe a short time,” Trump said in a live Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. “It could be a lifetime. Nobody really knows.”
Trump also said he had “a protective glow” — a concept which does not appear in medical literature or scientific research about the
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine now better understand the role of a protein, interleukin-21 (IL-21), in the immune system response to infections in the nervous system. The results of their recent study support further investigation into using IL-21 as a therapeutic agent for persistent central nervous system infections.
CD4 T cells in the immune system produce IL-21, which is critical for the development of CD8 tissue-resident-memory (TRM) cells during persistent viral infections of the central nervous system with polyomavirus.
Dr. Aron Lukacher, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, said the results, published in Science Immunology, demonstrate that IL-21 is an important factor in the development of effective immune responses to chronic infections in the central nervous system including neurodegenerative HIV-AIDS and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a fatal brain infection caused by JC polyomavirus. PML starts with symptoms including clumsiness, weakness or difficulty speaking
Preliminary results from two independent, phase II clinical trials investigating a new PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1)-based immune therapy for metastatic cervical cancer suggest potential new treatment options for a disease that currently has limited effective options and disproportionately impacts younger women.
David O’Malley, MD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC — James), presented the preliminary study results at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020 on Sept. 18. O’Malley was the lead presenter for both trials, which were sponsored by Agenus Inc.
Each study involved more than 150 patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer from cancer treatment centers across the United States and Europe. All patients were previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy as a first-line therapy. The two independent but consecutive phase II trials tested a new immune-based agent
Whether flu or coronavirus, it can take several days for the body to ramp up an effective response to a viral infection. New research appearing in the journal Nature Immunology describes how different cells in the immune system work together, communicate, and — in the case of cells called neutrophils — bring about their own death to help fight off infections. The findings could have important implications for the development of vaccines and anti-viral therapies.
“The immune system consists of several different types of cells, all acting in coordination,” said Minsoo Kim, Ph.D., a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and senior author of the study. “These findings show that cells called neutrophils play an important altruistic role that benefits other immune cells by providing key resources for their survival and, in the process, enhancing the body’s immune response against a virus.”
A team of researchers led by biomedical scientist Declan F. McCole at the University of California, Riverside, has found that the drug tofacitinib, also called Xeljanz and approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, can repair permeability defects in the intestine.
“Our work could help improve identification of patients who will be better responders to this drug,” said McCole, a professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine.
Study results appear in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis.
Affecting roughly 1 million Americans, ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, is a chronic disease of the large intestine, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and leaky.
A single layer of cells that plays a critical role in human health, the intestinal epithelium provides a barrier while also allowing nutrient and water absorption. Intestinal epithelial cells are critical for regulating immune function, communicating with