Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Researchers Identify New Source of Powerful Immunity Protein

Published: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Bookmark and Share
New cellular source for IFN-? that keeps viruses from replicating and stimulates the immune system.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report the identification of a new cellular source for an important disease-fighting protein used in the body’s earliest response to infection.

The protein interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) keeps viruses from replicating and stimulates the immune system to produce other disease-fighting agents.

Neutrophils, the newly identified cellular source of the protein, are the major component of the pus that forms around injured tissue.

The researchers also report that the neutrophils appear to produce IFN-γ through a new cellular pathway independent of Toll-like receptors (TLRs): the body’s early warning system for invasion by pathogens.

This finding indicates that mammals might possess a second early-alert system - the sort of built-in redundancy engineers would envy, said Dr. Felix Yarovinsky, assistant professor of immunology and senior author of the study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in June.

“We believe our mouse study provides strong evidence that neutrophils, white blood cells created in the bone marrow, produce significant amounts of IFN-γ in response to disease,” Dr. Yarovinsky said. “The finding of a new and essential cellular source for IFN-γ challenges a long-held belief in the field and is significant because neutrophils are the most common kind of white blood cell.”

Two pathogens were used in this study: the parasite Toxoplasma gondii - which can cause brain damage in humans and other mammals that have compromised immune systems - and a type of bacterium that causes gastroenteritis, Salmonella typhimurium.

Innate immunity is the body’s first line of defense against pathogens, including those that it has never before encountered.

Adaptive immunity is the secondary system that battles pathogens to which the body has previously been exposed and to which it has developed antibodies.

Textbooks list natural killer (NK) cells and T cells as the body’s significant sources of IFN-γ. Although large numbers of neutrophils have long been observed to congregate at the site of a new infection, they were commonly thought to be first responders or foot soldiers rather than generals in the battle against disease, as this study indicates they are, Dr. Yarovinsky explained.

About 20 years ago, there were clinical reports in humans and animals suggesting that neutrophils might produce IFN-γ, but the idea was largely ignored by the scientific community until the last decade, he said.

Since then, studies at UT Southwestern and elsewhere have found that mice lacking NK and T cells, and therefore expected to be unable to produce IFN-γ, somehow continued to withstand infections better than mice genetically unable to make any IFN-γ.

These observations suggested the possibility of an unknown source of the protein, he explained.

In a series of experiments, the UT Southwestern researchers identified neutrophils as the major source of IFN-γ in mice lacking NK and T cells. “Based on what we know about neutrophils, their large numbers and rapid deployment to the site of infection should provide an important means of very early, robust, and rapid elimination of disease-causing agents,” the researchers wrote. Although neutrophil-derived IFN-γ alone is insufficient to achieve complete host protection, the protein significantly extended the survival of mice in this study, Dr. Yarovinsky said.

In related news, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in June announced that Dr. Yarovinsky had been selected for its 2013 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award to further investigate mechanisms of host defense against various infectious diseases mediated by IFN-γ produced by neutrophils.

The award will provide $500,000 over five years to pursue this line of research.


Further Information
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,700+ 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

Regenerative Medicine Biologists Discover a Cellular Structure that Explains Fate of Stem Cells
The findings are presented in the journal Nature.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Cell that Replenishes Heart Muscle Found by UT Southwestern Researchers
Researchers devise a new cell-tracing technique to detect cells that do replenish themselves.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Researchers Find Molecular Mechanisms within Fetal Lungs that Initiate Labor
Biochemists found that steroid receptor coactivators 1 and 2 (SRC-1 and SRC-2) proteins control genes.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Researchers Discover Molecule that Accelerates Tissue Regeneration
Newly discovered molecule, SW033291 accelerate cell recovery following bone marrow transplants.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Boosting Gut Bacteria Defense System May Lead to Better Treatments
Life-threatening bloodstream infections reversed by enhancing a specific immune defense response.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Immunity Enzyme Defends Against Tuberculosis Infection
Study shows that cGAS enzyme is essential for defense against the tuberculosis bacteria.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
UT Southwestern Faculty Members Named HHMI Investigators
Appointment of Dr. Kim Orth and Dr. Joshua Mendell to HHMI.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
UT Southwestern’s Dr. Philipp Scherer Receive Banting Medal
Dr. Scherer will receive the prestigious Medal for diabetes research.
Friday, May 08, 2015
Mutations in Two Genes Linked to Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis and Telomere Shortening
PARN and RTEL1 genes strengthen the link between lung fibrosis and telomere dysfunction.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Scientists Identify Key Receptors Behind Development of AML
Blocking ITIM-receptor signaling in combination with conventional therapies may represent a novel strategy for AML treatment.
Saturday, May 02, 2015
Scherer to Receive Banting Medal for Diabetes Research
Medal recognizes significant, long-term contributions to the understanding, treatment, or prevention of diabetes.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Study Reveals Molecular Genetic Mechanisms Driving Breast Cancer Progression
The findings are published online and in the journal Molecular Cell.
Saturday, April 04, 2015
New Cyclotron Facility at UT Southwestern
Expands research opportunities and imaging capabilities for detecting, tracking cancer.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Acetate Supplements Shown to Speed Up Cancer Growth
A major compound produced in the gut by host bacteria.
Friday, February 20, 2015
MAGE Genes Provide Insight into Optimizing Chemotherapy
UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a new biomarker that could help identify patients who are more likely to respond to certain chemotherapies.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Utilization of Circulating Biomarkers for Minimally Invasive Diagnostics Development
Market Trends in Biofluid-based Liquid Biopsies: Deploying Circulating Biomarkers in the Clinic. Enal Razvi, Ph.D., Managing Director, Select Biosciences, Inc.
Self-Assembling, Biomimetic Membranes May Aid Water Filtration
A synthetic membrane that self assembles and is easily produced may lead to better gas separation, water purification, drug delivery and DNA recognition, according to an international team of researchers.
Researchers Discover Immune System’s 'Trojan Horse'
Oxford University researchers have found that human cells use viruses as Trojan horses, transporting a messenger that encourages the immune system to fight the very virus that carries it.
Crystal Clear Images Uncover Secrets of Hormone Receptors
NIH researchers gain better understanding of how neuropeptide hormones trigger chemical reactions in cells.
How Cholesterol Leads to Clogged Arteries
A new study shows that when immune cells called neutrophils are exposed to cholesterol crystals, they release large extracellular web-like structures that trigger the production of inflammatory molecules linked to artherosclerosis.
Genetic Tug of War
Researchers have reported on a version of genetic parental control in mice that is more targeted, and subtle than canonical imprinting.
Ultrafast DNA Diagnostics
New technology developed by UC Berkeley bioengineers promises to make a workhorse lab tool cheaper, more portable and many times faster by accelerating the heating and cooling of genetic samples with the switch of a light.
Researchers Discover New Type of Mycovirus
Virus infects the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, which can cause the human disease aspergillosis.
Error Correction Mechanism in Cell Division
Cell biologists have reported an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and correct mistakes in cell division early enough to prevent chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, that is, having too many or too few chromosomes.
How to Become a Follicular T Helper Cell
Uncovering the signals that govern the fate of T helper cells is a big step toward improved vaccine design.
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!