Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel molecule may contribute to intestinal health

14.03.2003


New data suggests that a novel molecule appears to be involved in the intestine’s response to infection. The study was a collaboration between researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Institut Curie in Paris. It appears in the March 13 issue of the journal Nature.



“This is the first identified function for this molecule,” says co-senior author Susan Gilfillan, Ph.D., research instructor in pathology and immunology at the School of Medicine. “Our findings suggest that this molecule may play a fundamental role in gut immunology.”

When a virus enters the body, proteins called antigens appear on the surface of cells and alert the immune system to infection. A molecule called MR1, which was discovered eight years ago, appears to be very similar to the main category of molecules that deliver antigens to the cell surface, called major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC Class I). However, its function is not yet understood.


To learn more about MR1, Gilfillan and colleagues developed a strain of mice lacking the molecule. The mice failed to develop a small population of immune cells known as mucosal-associated invariant t cells (MAIT cells). MAIT cells were just recently discovered by the study’s other co-senior author, Olivier Lantz, Ph.D., at the Institut Curie in Paris. The current study presents the first extensive characterization of these cells.

“These results help us begin to understand the function of MR1 and the role of MAIT cells in immunology,” Gilfillan says. “Both are found not only in mice but also in humans and other animals, such as cows, which implies that they probably are very important.”

The team also discovered that MAIT cells appear to be primarily located in the mucous membrane of the intestine, or gut. Moreover, mice lacking bacteria normally found in the gut do not have MAIT cells.

From these results, Gilfillan and colleagues conclude that MAIT cells rely on both MR1 and intestinal bacteria. In addition, the results imply that MR1 and MAIT cells play a critical role in the intestine’s response to infection. The team plans to continue investigating these interactions and also to explore whether MR1 and MAIT are involved in fighting infections in other organs lined with mucous-producing cells, including the lungs.

“It’s possible that MR1 and MAIT cells are involved in a variety of diseases of the gut, particularly those relating to microorganisms that reside in the intestine,” Gilfillan says. “We also expect this line of research will be of particular interest for general mucosal immunology, and may prove useful in studying other organ systems as well.”


###
Treiner E, Duban L, Bahram S, Radosavljevic M, Wanner V, Tilloy F, Affaticati P, Gilfillan S, Lantz O. Selection of evolutionarily conserved mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells by MR1. Nature, March 13, 2003.

Funding from Association de la Recherche Contre la Cander, Fondation de la recherché Medicale, INSERM and Section Medicale de l’Institut Curie supported this research.

Gila Z. Reckess | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://medinfo.wustl.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus
22.05.2017 | University of Toronto

nachricht Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
19.05.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>