Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Directing immune traffic -- signposts to the lung

11.05.2010
Inducing cellular immunity as a means to protect against influenza virus is the focus of several laboratories at the Trudeau Institute. Researchers here have recently identified two important signaling components required by the immune system that might allow us to pre-position our own virus-fighting T cells to the lungs, the site of initial infection.

In laboratories around the world, researchers are working diligently to gain the upper hand in the ongoing struggle against the influenza virus. In 2009, with the emergence of H1N1 as a global threat, the scientific community was reminded how destructive the virus can be and how quickly a threat of its type can be transported across oceans and vast landmasses.

Clearly a new strategy is required to protect against this elusive virus. Current methods, which involve guesswork to determine the most likely strain and then setting about to develop a yearly vaccine, are both antiquated and time-consuming.

"It has become apparent that protective cellular immunity to viruses like influenza requires white blood cells to be pre-positioned in the lungs, the site of initial infection," says David L. Woodland, project leader and president of the institute. This approach has led to efforts to develop vaccines that persuade cells to localize in the respiratory tract. "That, however, has turned out to be difficult, because we don't fully understand the signals that direct immune cell migration to distinct locations in the body," Dr. Woodland added.

Woodland and colleagues have begun to shed light on this important question. They report in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine that two distinct signals are required to instruct virus-fighting white blood cells, known as T cells, to migrate into the lungs.

The first T cell is residual antigen (needed to stimulate antibodies) that remains in the lymph nodes for weeks after the initial infection has been cleared. The second is an "imprinting event" that instructs the T cells to specifically seek a target organ (in the case of flu, the lung). This imprinting event directs the T cells to where the original infectious agent entered the body and, importantly, where the cells need to go to fight future infections.

This new information has major implications for future vaccine research and could lead to the development of vaccines designed to promote immunity to respiratory infections.

Researchers are hopeful that, with further study, it may be possible to protect the population by prepositioning flu-fighting T cells in the lungs so they are in place when the body needs them.

The Trudeau Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, biomedical research organization, whose scientific mission is to make breakthrough discoveries leading to improved human health. Trudeau researchers are identifying the basic mechanisms used by the immune system to combat viruses like influenza, mycobacteria, such as tuberculosis, parasites and cancer, so that better vaccines and therapies can be developed for fighting deadly disease. The research is supported by government grants and philanthropic contributions.

Brian Turner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.trudeauinstitute.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>