Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Immunology
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Keck School Scientists Design Mouse with More Human-Like Immune Response

Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The discovery makes way for quicker and more cost-effective development of next-generation drugs to treat human diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis.

Medical researchers have long used mice and rats to help formulate new drugs and vaccines, in part because their genetic and biological characteristics closely parallel human physiology. But many experimental drugs that work extraordinarily well in rodents fail miserably when tested in people.

One such drug, α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), essentially wipes out cancerous tumors in mice by activating the body’s immune system; for reasons not entirely clear, the drug does not trigger the same response in people with cancer. Scientists hypothesize that this failure is due to subtle differences between the CD1d molecules in mice and humans and how they respond to tumors and infection. CD1d molecules are found on certain cells that trigger the body’s innate immune response.

In a study to be published this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USC researchers describe how they genetically engineered mice to express CD1d molecules that look more like those in humans and in more similar proportions. More importantly, the humanized CD1d molecules effectively trigger natural killer T (NKT) cells — a recently discovered type of white blood cell that attacks tumors and infection — in live animals when exposed to α-GalCer.

“It’s the best model we have in the field,” said Weiming Yuan, assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and principal investigator of the study. “We’ve basically set a platform to fast-track the identification of immunotherapies that can kill cancer and also make vaccines stronger.”

Once activated, NKT cells react in a matter of hours whereas other T cells may take days. This rapid response makes them difficult to study but also an ideal target for drug-makers. Yuan’s humanized mouse allows scientists to more accurately test the viability of those NKT cell-targeting drugs before going to human clinical trials.

“Before, it would have been a guess as to whether the drug would work in people. Now, the chance of success goes from one out of 100 to one out of five,” Yuan said.

Yuan and colleagues have yet to demonstrate the effects of inserting a more human-like version of the final component of the CD1d/NKT system, the T cell receptor. More experiments are necessary to determine why α-GalCer is ineffective in treating people with cancer and to develop novel α-GalCer derivatives that work with the human immune system.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

JAK3 Pathway Highlighted as Leukemia Target
An intriguing study published in Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy has revealed that the signaling protein JAK3 represents a viable target in the treatment of a broad range of B-lineage cancers, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Friday, November 19, 2010
Scientific News
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
COPD Linked to Increased Bacterial Invasion
Persistent inflammation in COPD may result from a defect in the immune system that allows airway bacteria to invade deeper into the lung.
Finding Factors That Protect Against Flu
A clinical trial examining the body’s response to seasonal flu suggests new approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines.
Vaccinations Are More Effective When Administered In The Morning
Research from the University of Birmingham shows that influenza vaccinations have more protective responses when administered in the morning.
Secrets of a Deadly Virus Family Revealed
Scripps Research scientists uncover the glycoprotein structure of LCMV. The findings could guide development of treatments for Lassa fever.
Cytokine Triggers Immune Response at Expense of Blood Renewal
Research highlights promise of Anti-IL-1 drugs to treat chronic inflammatory disease.
Reduced Immune Response Causes Flu Deaths in Older Adults
Yale study suggests that immune response to flu causes death in older people, not the virus.
Exposure To Routine Viruses Makes Mice Better Test Subjects
Study shows that infections make mouse immune system act more like that in humans.
Immune Booster Tested in Advanced Merkel Cell Cancer
The immunotherapy drug produced durable responses in many patients.
Factors Influencing Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Uncovered
The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!