Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new method measures the immune cell response within minutes

30.05.2018

T cells fight pathogens and tumors: Researchers from the Universities of Tübingen and Lübeck present a simple and fast method to rapidly assess their function

To fight pathogens or tumors, the body relies on various types of lymphocytes, including T cells, which recognize specific structures (antigenic peptides) on altered cells which are presented on specialized cell surface molecules called HLA.


The new method identifies structural changes in the integrins, certain molecules expressed on the cell surface of the T cells, and thus detects whether the T lymphocytes are working effectively.

Image: Stoyan Dimitrov

A new study presents a method with which the T-cell immune response can be assessed in a very short time after blood drawing. A research team headed by Prof. Dr. Jan Born of the Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology and Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Rammensee of the Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology at the University of Tübingen and by Dr. Tanja Lange of the Clinic for Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the University of Lübeck has established this novel method.

Due to its simplicity, reliability and versatility, it could be broadly implemented for basic research and in the clinical setting. The results of the study were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA (PNAS).

T lymphocytes as well as B lymphocytes are cells of the immune system specialized in fighting pathogens. In order to assess how well the immune response works, the antibodies produced by the B lymphocytes and released into the blood can be easily measured by well-established methods.

However, to fight many infections or cancer, a good T-cell response is crucial; new cancer immunotherapies are also often based on a T-cell-dependent immune response that detects and kills abnormal body cells. The methods used so far to test this T-cell response are technically cumbersome and time-consuming and are therefore used only to a limited extent in research and daily patient care.

“This could be a game-changing method”, says Dr. Stoyan Dimitrov, first author of the study. The method recognizes the antigen-specific T lymphocytes within a very short time by identifying structural changes of the so-called integrins, a type of molecules expressed on the cell surface of T cells.

“Our method could rapidly replace the techniques in use for measuring functional T cells. It is much faster and easier to perform, and does not require sophisticated reagents”, says Dimitrov.

“We have successfully applied the method in two different studies into the role of sleep in fighting chronic infection – with the cytomegalovirus – and in enhancing vaccination efficiency – against the yellow fever virus”, says Jan Born.

T lymphocytes play a key role in many infections, such as malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, herpes and hepatitis. “Still, T cell-mediated immunity is currently routinely assessed only for tuberculosis”, says Tanja Lange. "Our new method could be widely used," adds researcher Dr. Cécile Gouttefangeas.

"It is also suitable for faster and accurate monitoring of T-cell immune responses in cancer patients, as well as to test the efficacy of novel immunotherapies such as experimental cancer vaccines or so-called checkpoint inhibitors.” “The method could be also used to isolate functional anti-tumor T cells for anti-cancer adoptive cell-transfer immunotherapy”, adds Hans-Georg Rammensee.

Publication:
Stoyan Dimitrov, Cécile Gouttefangeas, Luciana Besedovsky, Anja T.R. Jensen, P. Anoop Chandran, Elisa Rusch, Ramona Businger, Michael Schindler, Tanja Lange, Jan Born, and Hans-Georg Rammensee: Activated integrins identify functional antigen-specific CD8+ T cells within minutes after antigen stimulation. PNAS 2018; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1720714115

Contact:
Stoyan Dimitrov, PhD
University of Tübingen
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology
Phone: +49 7071 29-88927
stoyan.dimitrov[at]uni-tuebingen.de

Dr. Karl Guido Rijkhoek | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Harder 3D-printed tools – Researchers from Dresden introduce new process for hardmetal industry
11.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS

nachricht Flying High with VCSEL Heating
04.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

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

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>