Scientists from the Department of Neuroimmunology and the Institute for Multiple Sclerosis Research (IMSF), the latter founded by the Hertie Foundation, have developed a technology that has allowed them to track several previously unexplained phenomena in multiple sclerosis (MS). A research team headed by Prof. Alexander Flügel could employ fluorescent proteins to make visible the individual steps in the process that sparks off a destructive autoimmune disease in the brain.
A T lymphocyte is activated after contact with a phagocytic cell. Each picture shows a different time-point in a video recording of the interaction between the two cells.
Source: umg/imsf göttingen
An autoreactive T lymphocyte, here in contact with a microglia cell, is activated deep within inflamed nervous tissue.
Source: umg/imsf göttingen
Autoimmune diseases are caused by a specific type of immune cell, namely T lymphocytes, which attack the body's own tissue. In multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, brain-reactive T lymphocytes invade the nervous tissue and cause inflammatory reactions there which can lead to serious and sometimes permanent damage, for example motor deficits and sensibility dysfunctions.
Known facts: T lymphocytes cannot recognize brain tissue by themselves. To do their destructive work T lymphocytes need help. Apparently central nervous systems cells give away important information about the identity of brain tissue.
The rudimentary order of events behind this process was also known: unsuspecting helper cells offer the "blind” T lymphocytes fragments of the relevant brain tissue proteins on specialized carrier proteins, so-called MHC molecules. The T lymphocytes can sense these fragments with special feelers and then can recognize brain tissue. Ultimately it is this recognition of brain tissue that is the deciding factor for the development of an autoimmune disease, because it activates immune cells which then set an alarm program into motion that leads to the release of nerve-damaging neurotransmitters and antigens.
Unclear up until now was: Exactly which nervous system cells render this fatal aid? Where exactly in brain tissue does the activation takes place? In which phase of brain tissue inflammation is the recognition process significance to the disease manifestation?
Stefan Weller | Uni Göttingen
Further reports about: > IMSF > MHC > Medical Wellness > Multiple Sklerose > Neuroimmunology > T lymphocyte > autoimmune disease > brain cell > brain tissue > central nervous system > fluorescent signals > immune cell > inflammatory reaction > infrared-fluorescent proteins > multiple sclerosis > nervous system > nervous tissue > protein fragment > scavenger cells
Portable finger-probe device can successfully measure liver function in potential organ donors
29.05.2015 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Project start: New active substance targeting dreaded hospital pathogens
29.05.2015 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Many joining and cutting processes are possible only with lasers. New technologies make it possible to manufacture metal components with hollow structures that are significantly lighter and yet just as stable as solid components. In addition, lasers can be used to combine various lightweight construction materials and steels with each other. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is presenting a range of such solutions at the LASER World of Photonics trade fair from June 22 to 25, 2015 in Munich, Germany, (Hall A3, Stand 121).
Lightweight construction materials are popular: aluminum is used in the bodywork of cars, for example, and aircraft fuselages already consist in large part of...
Using ultrashort laser pulses, scientists in Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have demonstrated the emission of extreme ultraviolet radiation from thin dielectric films and have investigated the underlying mechanisms.
In 1961, only shortly after the invention of the first laser, scientists exposed silicon dioxide crystals (also known as quartz) to an intense ruby laser to...
The only professorship in Germany to date, one master's programme, one laboratory with worldwide unique equipment and the corresponding research results: The University of Würzburg is leading in the field of biofabrication.
Paul Dalton is presently the only professor of biofabrication in Germany. About a year ago, the Australian researcher relocated to the Würzburg department for...
Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...
Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services
To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...
20.05.2015 | Event News
18.05.2015 | Event News
12.05.2015 | Event News
29.05.2015 | Life Sciences
29.05.2015 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2015 | Physics and Astronomy