Investigadores descubren nuevo campo de batalla para virus y células inmunesContributed by: Anonymous · Views: 1,265
Contributed by: Anonymous · February 04, 2008 @ 09:03 PM MST · Views: 1,265
Researchers Discover New Battleground for Viruses and Immune Cells
Finding Should Aid Those Developing Anti-Virus Vaccines
Focusing on mouse lymph nodes — bean-shaped organs that contain a variety of immune cells and are distributed throughout the body — the researchers discovered that immune cells confront viruses just inside of the lymph node and not deep within these organs as previously thought. The study, led by Jonathan Yewdell, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the NIAID Cellular Biology Section and his NIAID colleague, Heather Hickman, Ph.D., is described in a report online in Nature Immunology.
The results are significant, the authors say, as they observed in detail the interaction of viruses and immune cells inside a living organism, in this case, mice. Combining expertise from disciplines such as imaging, immunology, virology and other specialties, the scientists first extracted and then purified specific T cells — killer T cells — from mice. Killer T cells, which attack and kill infected or cancerous cells, are major weapons in the immune system arsenal. The scientists labeled the T cells with a fluorescent marker, injected them back into the mice, and then infected the animals with vaccinia virus, the virus used to make smallpox vaccine, engineered to express a brilliantly colored protein.
Using a multiphoton microscope, a highly specialized microscope that enables scientists to peer into a living organism, the scientists could now look into the lymph nodes of the infected mice and see that the viruses had infected cells just inside the lymph node surface, triggering a swarm of T cells. These virus-specific T cells form an elaborate and dynamic communications network that activates them to divide and travel to the site of viral infection, where they kill virus-infected cells.
"A key challenge in viral vaccine research is developing strategies for immunizing against lethal viruses such as HIV that have eluded the standard vaccine approaches," notes Dr. Yewdell. "We have contributed a page to the handbook of understanding how to rationally design vaccines to elicit a T-cell response." According to the NIAID team, pinpointing where in the lymph node immune cells fight the virus should help efforts to design effective anti-virus vaccines.
NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on basic immunology, transplantation and immune-related disorders, including autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies.
News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
H Hickman et al. Direct priming of antiviral CD8+ T cells in the peripheral interfollicular region of lymph nodes. Nature Immunology DOI: 10.1038/ni1557 (2008).
Courtesy: National Institutes of Health