Friday, February 27, 2015

Immune Cells: Learning From Experience

News Brief By Lushna Mehra

When fighting off infections, immune cells learn and remember from their experience in order to apply this information to future battles.  The 2015 first edition of Immunity discussed, specifically, the role of T-helper cells, which aid the regulation of the immune system by releasing messenger substances, like cytokines.  Dr. Kupz of the Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin stated that we know T cells are able to release various quantities of the messenger substances, but we previously believed the amount to be random.  It is now known that it is possible that a T-helper cell is activated and then learns how much of which cytokine it needs to produce to fight off an infection.  A team of researchers from Charité—Universitätsmedizin, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, the University of Heidelberg, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA, and James Cook University found that once T-helper cells defeat an infection, some T-helper cells retain memory of the instance due to the amount of a specific factor in the nucleus of the cells.  Dr. Kupz noted that in future interactions for the T-helper cells, memory T-cells are activated in light of a new infection and are able to release a pre-determined amount of cytokine.  He concludes that more research in this realm could lead to stronger, specific immune reactions and could potentially aid in the reduction of misdirected immune responses, such as unwarranted inflammation.

James Cook University. "Immune cells: Learning from experience." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2015. .
blog comments powered by Disqus

TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, and Policy

TuftScope is a student journal published biannually in conjunction with Tufts University since 2001. Funding is provided by the Tufts Community Union Senate. The opinions expressed on this weblog are solely those of the authors. The staff reserves the right to edit blog postings for clarity and to remove nonfunctional links.

  © Free Blogger Templates Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP