Scientists from the Department of Neuroimmunology and the Institute for Multiple Sclerosis Research (IMSF), the latter founded by the Hertie Foundation, have developed a technology that has allowed them to track several previously unexplained phenomena in multiple sclerosis (MS). A research team headed by Prof. Alexander Flügel could employ fluorescent proteins to make visible the individual steps in the process that sparks off a destructive autoimmune disease in the brain.
A T lymphocyte is activated after contact with a phagocytic cell. Each picture shows a different time-point in a video recording of the interaction between the two cells.
Source: umg/imsf göttingen
An autoreactive T lymphocyte, here in contact with a microglia cell, is activated deep within inflamed nervous tissue.
Source: umg/imsf göttingen
Autoimmune diseases are caused by a specific type of immune cell, namely T lymphocytes, which attack the body's own tissue. In multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, brain-reactive T lymphocytes invade the nervous tissue and cause inflammatory reactions there which can lead to serious and sometimes permanent damage, for example motor deficits and sensibility dysfunctions.
Known facts: T lymphocytes cannot recognize brain tissue by themselves. To do their destructive work T lymphocytes need help. Apparently central nervous systems cells give away important information about the identity of brain tissue.
The rudimentary order of events behind this process was also known: unsuspecting helper cells offer the "blind” T lymphocytes fragments of the relevant brain tissue proteins on specialized carrier proteins, so-called MHC molecules. The T lymphocytes can sense these fragments with special feelers and then can recognize brain tissue. Ultimately it is this recognition of brain tissue that is the deciding factor for the development of an autoimmune disease, because it activates immune cells which then set an alarm program into motion that leads to the release of nerve-damaging neurotransmitters and antigens.
Unclear up until now was: Exactly which nervous system cells render this fatal aid? Where exactly in brain tissue does the activation takes place? In which phase of brain tissue inflammation is the recognition process significance to the disease manifestation?
Stefan Weller | Uni Göttingen
Further reports about: > IMSF > MHC > Medical Wellness > Multiple Sklerose > Neuroimmunology > T lymphocyte > autoimmune disease > brain cell > brain tissue > central nervous system > fluorescent signals > immune cell > inflammatory reaction > infrared-fluorescent proteins > multiple sclerosis > nervous system > nervous tissue > protein fragment > scavenger cells
Custom-tailored strategy against glioblastomas
26.09.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
New leukemia treatment offers hope
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Heavy construction machinery is the focus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s latest advance in additive manufacturing research. With industry partners and university students, ORNL researchers are designing and producing the world’s first 3D printed excavator, a prototype that will leverage large-scale AM technologies and explore the feasibility of printing with metal alloys.
Increasing the size and speed of metal-based 3D printing techniques, using low-cost alloys like steel and aluminum, could create new industrial applications...
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...
Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.
Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
30.09.2016 | Event News
29.09.2016 | Event News
28.09.2016 | Event News
30.09.2016 | Materials Sciences
30.09.2016 | Earth Sciences
30.09.2016 | Life Sciences