Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Monocytes have many faces

20.12.2017

When the immune system mobilizes its troops, antigen-presenting cells play an important role. They can emerge from white blood cells (monocytes) that circulate in the blood. An international research team under the leadership of the University of Bonn has now taken a closer look at these important helpers. The research revealed that the monocyte-derived cells are not identical descendants, but rather a very diverse mixture. This finding is important for the further development of tailor-made immunotherapies for combating tumor cells. The scientists now present their findings in the renowned journal "Immunity".

For more than two decades, monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) have been obtained from patients' blood for immunotherapy to treat various cancers, for example melanoma, lung or colon cancer. It was assumed that these therapeutically used cells are identical to dendritic cells. Dendritic cells have become known as the most potent antigen-presenting cells. They recognize foreign structures of invaders, pick them up and present them to other immune cells to strengthen the targeted defense.


In the lab (from left): Dr. Branko Cirovic, Jil Sander, Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze and Dr. Andreas Schlitzer at the LIMES-Institute of University of Bonn.

© Photo: Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn

Immunotherapy is effective only for a small proportion of patients

“Only a small proportion of patients respond to therapy with moDCs, whilst very little effect is seen in the vast majority of patients”, says Dr. Andreas Schlitzer, Emmy-Noether-Group Leader at the Life and Medical Sciences (LIMES) Institute of the University of Bonn.

Using the latest high-tech methods, Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze and Dr. Schlitzer together with their colleagues from the LIMES Institute, the Institute of Innate Immunity of University Hospital Bonn, the cluster of excellence ImmunoSensation at University of Bonn, from Stanford University (USA) and the Singapore Immunology Network (Singapore) researched the properties of these special cells.

Using human blood, the scientists extracted monocytes which they transformed into a large variety of antigen-presenting cells and analyzed using state-of-the-art methods. What is the activity of different genes of different moDCs? How is their metabolism? Which messengers and stimulants do they respond to? It became clear that there is a huge variety of moDCs.

“Using state-of-the-art computer-assisted models, we were able to show that moDCs differ from dendritic cells and present a mixture of cells with very diverse properties and functions”, explains lead author Jil Sander from the LIMES Institute. “MoDCs have an extraordinarily large plasticity, enabling them to tailor their response to pathogens, tumors or endogenous danger signals. This ability is fine-tuned by specific gene regulation”, adds second lead author Dr. Susanne V. Schmidt from the Institute of Innate Immunity of University Hospital Bonn. They most closely resemble immune cells that occur in inflammation.

The wide variety of different moDCs could explain why moDCs activate the immune system against the tumor cells only in some patients. “Our results are the basis for tailoring moDCs for the patients, thereby significantly improving cancer immunotherapy”, says Prof. Schultze from the LIMES Institute.

Time aspect is crucial for cell differentiation

Additionally, the research team achieved important results for basic research. “The time aspect had been largely ignored so far in the differentiation of monocytes”, says Dr. Schlitzer. Depending on how long the substance, for example interleukin 4, acted on the cells, the moDCs could be very different. The researchers agree that the potential of monocyte-derived dendritic cells is underestimated.

Publication: Cellular differentiation of human monocytes is regulated by time-dependent IL4 signalling and NCOR2, Immunity, DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.11.024

Media contact:

Dr. Andreas Schlitzer
LIMES-Institute
University of Bonn
Tel. +49(0)228/7362847
E-mail: andreas.schlitzer@uni-bonn.de

Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>