Little is known about the effect of an individuals immune history on their response to a donated tissue transplant. An important study by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, reveals that individuals harboring virally-induced memory T cells that are cross reactive with donor antigens are resistant to conventional strategies designed to induce transplant tolerance.
Enormous progress has been achieved in the field of transplantation during the past 3 decades, due in large part to the availability of effective immunosuppressive drugs. Such drugs are designed to sufficiently suppress the recipient immune response to the donor tissue without compromising the ability to fight infection. In the 50 years since the first description of tolerance to transplanted tissue in mice, researchers have strived to induce tolerance in human transplant recipients. So why the discrepancy?
In the June 16 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Christian Larsen and his colleagues demonstrated that a critical distinction between pathogen-free mice used in transplant research and nonhuman primates or human patients is their acquired immune history. The authors demonstrate that a specific threshold of memory cells is necessary to promote rejection and CD8+ central memory cells are principally responsible for mediating rejection. The data reveal that the transplantation field may have underappreciated the barrier that memory to previous viral infections in the recipient serves in the induction of tolerance.
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22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
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...
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...
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22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy