With every infection or vaccination, memory cells form that the body uses to remember the pathogen. This has been known for decades – but the structure of this cellular immunologic memory has previously proven impossible to pin down. Researchers from the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel have now identified a microanatomical region in memory cells that enables them to work rapidly in the first few hours of an immune response, as they report in the journal Immunity.
The human body’s immune system remembers disease-causing pathogens and can react more quickly in case of renewed contact. Vaccines are a prime example of how immunologic memory can protect us from infectious diseases.
In terms of its function and effect, immunologic memory is well understood – an individual remains healthy despite being exposed to the pathogen. However, the specific cellular structures that enable immunologic memory were previously unknown.
An international group of researchers led by Professor Christoph Hess from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel have now found a structure that accounts for the rapid immunologic memory of particular immune cells (CD8+ memory T cells): these important memory cells form multiple connections between mitochondria – the powerhouses of cells – and the endoplasmic reticulum, the site of protein production.
Rapid immune response
At these contact sites, the rapid immune memory response is literally “orchestrated”, say the researchers. The memory cells concentrate all the signal transmission molecules and enzymes necessary for a rapid immune response here – and so are prepared when the organism is once again exposed to the disease-causing pathogen. This allows the body to quickly protect itself against the infection.
Glenn R. Bantug, Marco Fischer, Jasmin Grählert, Maria L. Balmer, Gunhild Unterstab, Leyla Develioglu, Rebekah Steiner, Lianjun Zhang, Ana S.H. Costa, Patrick M. Gubser, Anne-Valérie Burgener, Ursula Sauder, Jordan Löliger, Réka Belle, Sarah Dimeloe, Jonas Lötscher, Annaïse Jauch, Mike Recher, Gideon Hönger, Michael N. Hall, Pedro Romero, Christian Frezza, and Christoph Hess
Mitochondria–Endoplasmic Reticulum contact sites function as immunometabolic hubs that orchestrate the rapid recall response of memory CD8 T cells
Immunity (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.02.012
Prof. Dr. Christoph Hess, University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine, Immunobiology, phone: +41 61 328 68 30, e-mail: email@example.com
Cornelia Niggli | Universität Basel
Observing changes in the chirality of molecules in real time
14.11.2019 | ETH Zurich
Pinpointing Pollutants from Space
14.11.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...
Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...
In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.
An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...
05.11.2019 | Event News
30.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
14.11.2019 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2019 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2019 | Materials Sciences