Img.1: Schematic model of the immune synapse:
* an inner "ring of receptors and signaling molecules.
* an outer "ring" with adhesion molecules.
Communication within the immune system
A familial form of severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) is caused by anomalies of an enzyme called ZAP-70. If ZAP-70 is lacking or does not work, the T-cells, which play a key role in the mechanisms of immune defense, are no longer functional. Affected children therefore catch infections as soon as they are exposed to pathogenic microorganisms. The only treatment at present is bone marrow transplantation.
INSERM research scientists at the Institut Curie have recently described the essential role of ZAP-70 in the communication between immune cells, in the October 2002 issue of Immunity.
Catherine Goupillon | Institut Curie
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