Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sperm’s immune-protection properties could provide link to how cancers spread

14.12.2007
Sugar-based markers on human sperm cells which may prevent them from being attacked by the female immune system could provide a vital clue to how some cancers spread in the human body, according to new research published on 14 December 2007.

The new research, currently available online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, analysed these markers which are believed to tell the female immune system that the sperm are not dangerous pathogens, and therefore should not be attacked by the woman’s white blood cells during the reproductive process. The study, led by Imperial College London and the University of Missouri, suggests that these sugar markers, found on N-glycans which are part of human sperm glycoproteins, can be universally recognised by all human immune systems, regardless of the individual.

Professor Anne Dell from Imperial College London’s Department of Life Sciences, one of the study’s lead authors, said: “Normal human cells carry chemical markers made of proteins which tell the immune system not to attack them. In the case of organ transplants, for example, doctors try to match these markers in both the donor and the recipient to prevent rejection. However, in the case of sperm cells, their sugar-based markers are different: they are recognised by everyone’s immune system, meaning that no immune response is triggered during reproduction between any two people.”

This kind of marker is also found on some types of cancer cells, some bacterial cells, some parasitic worms and HIV infected white blood cells. The scientists believe that these markers allow such dangerous cells and pathogens to evade destruction by the human immune system, leading to serious – sometimes fatal - illness.

... more about:
»Cells »blood cell »immune »immune system

Professor Dell explains that understanding how this basic biology works on sperm cells may lead to greater knowledge of how some serious diseases and infections manage to win the battle with the human immune system. She says:

“If aggressive cancers and pathogens are using the same system of universally-recognisable markers to trick the immune system into thinking they’re harmless, we need to work out exactly how this interaction works. This is where we’re planning to take this research next. Understanding how these markers work at a basic biological and chemical level could lead to new ways to treat or prevent cancers and other diseases in the future.”

Danielle Reeves | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

Further reports about: Cells blood cell immune immune system

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
25.04.2018 | University of Freiburg

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>