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 Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>