A certain type of immune cell – the regulatory T cell, or Treg for short – is in charge of putting on the brakes on the immune response. In a way, this cell type might be considered the immune system’s traffic cop.
The figure shows the localization of IkBNS in the cell. IkBNS molecules (green) occur in dotted structures within the cell nucleus (blue). The function of these structures is, however, largely unknown.
HZI / Schmitz
Essentially, these are cells capable of constraining inflammation – even though IκBNS in no way influences the function of regulatory T cells," explains Dr. Marc Schuster, one of Schmitz' colleagues at HZI and the article’s first author. The researchers tested their hypothesis regarding IκBNS’ central role in Treg development in mice that are missing this factor. Since cells that lack IκBNS do not "become cops," the immune system's effector cells are undamped and could trigger chronic inflammation of the intestine.
Dr. Jan Grabowski | Helmholtz-Zentrum
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