Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 4,500+ 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

Genes Connected to Well-Being, Depression and Neuroticism
The researchers found three genetic variants associated with subjective well-being — how happy or satisfied a person reports feeling about his or her life.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
New Set of Aging Related Proteins
Tested in both mice and human cells, the proteins may lead to greater understanding of aging-related diseases, from diabetes to Alzheimer’s to cancer.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Advancing Genome Editing of Blood Stem Cells
Genome editing techniques for blood stem cells just got better, thanks to a team of researchers at USC and Sangamo BioSciences.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Gene Changes That Affect Brain Size Identified
The identity of eight common mutations may one day reveal more about Alzheimer’s, autism and other neurological disorders.
Friday, January 23, 2015
How Gene Expression Affects Facial Expressions
Researchers from USC have demonstrated how a mutation in TBX1 causes facial deformities associated with DiGeorge Syndrome.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Cellular Automaton Model Predicts how Hair Follicle Stem Cells Regenerate
Your hair -- or lack of hair -- is the result of a lifelong tug-of-war between activators that wake up, and inhibitors that calm, stem cells in every hair follicle on your body, according to Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Southern California (USC).
Friday, December 09, 2011
Cancer Cells, Stem Cells Share Same Origin, Researchers Say
USC scientists proved that oncogenes change normal cells into stem-like cells, paving the way to a safer and more practical approach to treating diseases with stem cell therapy.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
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
Embryonic Stem Cells from Rats Derived
The breakthrough finding will enable scientists to create more effective animal models for the study of a range of human diseases.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Abraxis BioScience Signs Licensing Agreement with University of Southern California
Abraxis exclusively licenses property portfolio designed to personalize treatment for colorectal cancer from the University of Southern California.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Scientific News
Ketamine Metabolism Lifts Depression
NIH-funded team finds rapid-acting, non-addicting agent in mouse study.
Faster, Cheaper Way to Produce New Antibiotics
A novel way of synthesising a promising new antibiotic has been identified by scientists at the University of Bristol.
Process Contaminants in Vegetable Oils and Foods
Glycerol-based process contaminants found in palm oil, but also in other vegetable oils, margarines and some processed foods, raise potential health concerns for average consumers of these foods in all young age groups, and for high consumers in all age groups.
Improving Natural Killer Cancer Therapy
Vanderbilt University researchers discover transcription factor critical for NK cell expansion. Findings could lead to increased therapeutic efficacy.
Molecular Mechanism For Generating Specific Antibody Responses Discovered
Study could spur more ways to treat autoimmune disease, develop accurate vaccines.
Monovar Drills Down Into Cancer Genome
Rice, MD Anderson develop program to ID mutations in single cancer cells.
It’s Now Easier To Go With The Flow
Rice University tool simplifies comparison of flow cytometry data for laboratories.
Autism, Cancer Share a Remarkable Number of Risk Genes
Researchers with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, MIND Institute identify more than 40 common genes.
Number Of Known Genetic Risk Factors For Endometrial Cancer Doubled
An international collaboration of researchers has identified five new gene regions that increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer, one of the most common cancers to affect women, taking the number of known gene regions associated with the disease to nine.
Genetic Variant May Help Explain Why Labradors Are Prone To Obesity
A genetic variation associated with obesity and appetite in Labrador retrievers – the UK and US’s favourite dog breed – has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge. The finding may explain why Labrador retrievers are more likely to become obese than dogs of other breeds.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!