Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of Jefferson immunologists found that a specialized “human immune system” mouse model closely mimics a person’s specific response and resolution of a tick-borne infection known as relapsing fever, caused by the bacteria Borrelia hermsii.
The response is so strikingly similar that it gives good reason for researchers to apply the strategy to a host of other infections to better understand how the immune system attempts to fights them— which could ultimately lead to precise treatment and prevention strategies.
“This is first time an interaction of an infectious agent with a host, the progression of the disease and its eventual resolution recapitulates what you would see in a human being,” said Kishore R. Alugupalli, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Thomas Jefferson University and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. “Our model is not only a susceptible model, but it actually tells us how the human immune system is functionally working. That is the big difference from the previous studies.”
What really surprised the team is that the mouse physiological environment was able to facilitate the development of human B1-like cells, which is specialized type of antibody producing systems used to fight infection due to a variety of bacterial pathogens, including Pneumococcus and Salmonella.
In the study, researchers transferred hematopoietic stem cells from human umbilical cord blood into mice lacking their own immune system. This resulted in development of a human immune system in these mice. These “human immune system” (HIS) mice were then infected to gauge response.
According to the authors, an analysis of spleens and lymph nodes revealed that the mice developed a population of B1b-like cells that may have fought off the infection. Researchers also observed that reduction of those B cells resulted in recurrent episodes of bacteremia, the hallmark of relapsing fever.
“The B1b cells in humans had been speculated, but never confirmed,” said co-author Timothy L. Manser, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Jefferson. “We found that in mice, the B1b cell subset is critically important for resolution of this type of bacterial infection.”
“This would indicate that there is a functional equivalent of the subset in humans that has not been previously recognized,” he added.
The mouse model with relapsing fever recapitulates many of the clinical manifestations of the disease and has previously revealed that T cell-independent antibody responses are required to resolve the bacteria episodes. However, it was not clear whether such protective humoral responses are mounted in humans.
“It’s an amazing platform that could be used to really study how the human B1 cells could work against a variety of bacterial and viral infections,” said Dr. Alugupalli.
Steve Graff | Newswise Science News
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine