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 Adhesive Process Developed for Shingle Cell Technology
09.01.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht Seawater turns into freshwater through solar energy: A new low-cost technology
08.01.2019 | Politecnico di Torino

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

Im Focus: Programming light on a chip

Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The pace at which the world’s permafrost soils are warming

16.01.2019 | Earth Sciences

Understanding insulators with conducting edges

16.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

16.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>