Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sperm’s immune-protection properties could provide link to how cancers spread

14.12.2007
Sugar-based markers on human sperm cells which may prevent them from being attacked by the female immune system could provide a vital clue to how some cancers spread in the human body, according to new research published on 14 December 2007.

The new research, currently available online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, analysed these markers which are believed to tell the female immune system that the sperm are not dangerous pathogens, and therefore should not be attacked by the woman’s white blood cells during the reproductive process. The study, led by Imperial College London and the University of Missouri, suggests that these sugar markers, found on N-glycans which are part of human sperm glycoproteins, can be universally recognised by all human immune systems, regardless of the individual.

Professor Anne Dell from Imperial College London’s Department of Life Sciences, one of the study’s lead authors, said: “Normal human cells carry chemical markers made of proteins which tell the immune system not to attack them. In the case of organ transplants, for example, doctors try to match these markers in both the donor and the recipient to prevent rejection. However, in the case of sperm cells, their sugar-based markers are different: they are recognised by everyone’s immune system, meaning that no immune response is triggered during reproduction between any two people.”

This kind of marker is also found on some types of cancer cells, some bacterial cells, some parasitic worms and HIV infected white blood cells. The scientists believe that these markers allow such dangerous cells and pathogens to evade destruction by the human immune system, leading to serious – sometimes fatal - illness.

... more about:
»Cells »blood cell »immune »immune system

Professor Dell explains that understanding how this basic biology works on sperm cells may lead to greater knowledge of how some serious diseases and infections manage to win the battle with the human immune system. She says:

“If aggressive cancers and pathogens are using the same system of universally-recognisable markers to trick the immune system into thinking they’re harmless, we need to work out exactly how this interaction works. This is where we’re planning to take this research next. Understanding how these markers work at a basic biological and chemical level could lead to new ways to treat or prevent cancers and other diseases in the future.”

Danielle Reeves | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

Further reports about: Cells blood cell immune immune system

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
13.11.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection
13.11.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>