Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers develop screening test for cells that activate immune system

07.09.2005


UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are the first to create a large-scale, cell-based screening method that identifies which compounds activate immune-response cells that hold promise for future cancer-fighting vaccines.



The new screening technique can scan thousands and even millions of compounds to identify those that activate dendritic cells, which are on constant recon patrol throughout the body to scout out cancerous or infected cells and alert the immune system.

"Our assay is unique from other conventional ones in its sensitivity and cost- and time-efficiency," said Dr. Akira Takashima, professor of dermatology and vice chairman for research and head of the project.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered key to developing future vaccines that can either mimic the body’s natural immune response or turn on immune responses that failed - due, for example, to cancer or an immune deficiency.

The team, which also included Dr. Norikatsu Mitzumoto, assistant professor of dermatology and the study’s lead author, and Drs. Hironori Matsushima and Hiroaki Tanaka, postdoctoral researchers in dermatology, created the cell-based biosensor system.

"We basically engineered DCs to express a fluorescent signal only when sensing activation signals so that you can identify immuno-stimulatory agents very easily," said Dr. Takashima. Immuno-stimulatory agents launch the immune system.

The research appears on Blood magazine’s online Web site and will appear in a future issue.

"We have optimized the high-throughput screening capability - an experienced scientist can now test one thousand chemicals a day almost single-handedly," added Dr. Mizumoto. Previously, scientists would have to test each compound individually, a time-consuming process.

Their research already has led to the discovery of several compounds that turn on dendritic cells, which are found throughout the body from skin to blood. They continuously scan the body at the cellular level looking for antigens - foreign cells and materials invading the body - and for molecular signatures of tissue damage or infection.

"Their primary job is to present antigens to the immune system so that you develop protective immunity for infection and cancer," said Dr. Takashima.

The DC biosensor system should help pharmaceutical and biotech companies sift through large numbers of chemicals for ones that tell the dendritic cells to launch the immune response. It may also prove useful in identifying biothreat agents because it detects infectious pathogens with high sensitivity.

Dr. Takashima said he hopes to garner additional funding to discover potent immuno-stimulatory drugs by screening high-quality libraries of compounds.

Doing so may be the first step toward developing a new class of vaccines that force or trick the natural immune system to kick on, or initiate an immune response that can be copied and initiated artificially.

Other UT Southwestern researchers from dermatology involved in the study were Dr. Yasushi Ogawa, postdoctoral researcher, and Dr. Jimin Gao, former instructor.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Dermatology Foundation Career Development Award and the American Cancer Society Junior Investigator Award.

Russell Rian | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>