Examine discovers how the immune system triggers an ’emergency’ dendritic cell response throughout an infection

Scientists on the Francis Crick Institute have discovered how the immune system triggers an ’emergency’ dendritic cell response throughout an infection, with dendritic cells on the web site of an infection being strengthened by new cells which journey from the bone marrow.

Dendritic cells have an essential function within the immune system, detecting infectious micro organism, fungi or viruses which have entered the physique and alerting T cells which acknowledge and assault the invader.

Nevertheless, there are few dendritic cells in wholesome tissue just like the lungs which signifies that, on an infection, their numbers should be boosted. This poses the query of the place do these further cells come from?

Of their research, printed in Science Immunology in the present day (5 November), the researchers monitored dendritic cells in mice contaminated with flu virus, which additionally causes human illness . They discovered that, after an infection, new dendritic cells are launched from the bone marrow and journey to the positioning of an infection.

This course of is regulated by a receptor, known as CCR2, which binds molecules known as chemokines made by different cells within the contaminated tissue. The various ranges of CCR2-binding chemokines within the lung acts as a map, guiding the brand new dendritic cells to the precise location of the virus.

Dendritic cells are like lookouts, strategically positioned in low numbers across the physique. These low numbers are sufficient for his or her function monitoring for an invader, however when an infection strikes, they should be strengthened. Our research exhibits that backup is speedy and comes from the potential reservoir of dendritic cell precursors within the bone marrow, in a course of we have dubbed an ’emergency’ dendritic cell response.”

Caetano Reis e Sousa, senior writer and group chief of the Crick’s Immunobiology lab

‘Backup’ is required as dendritic cells transport pathogenic materials from the contaminated lungs to lymph nodes the place the corresponding T cell that acknowledges the invader will be alerted to launch a focused assault. The extra dendritic cells, the extra materials that may be transported, which means a better probability of discovering all the appropriate T cells.

The significance of this course of is demonstrated as, when the researchers blocked new dendritic cells touring to the positioning of an infection, the mice initiated a weaker immune response to the virus. And when these mice have been contaminated for a second time, they weren’t as shielded from re-infection.

“Understanding extra about how the immune system works might assist inform future therapies and vaccine design for a variety of various infectious illnesses,” provides Caetano. “For instance understanding about this immune increase means we are able to now begin to consider methods to harness the method.”

The researchers will proceed their work finding out the function and response of dendritic cells to an infection, in addition to in response to tumor formation.


The Francis Crick Institute

Journal reference:

Cabeza-Cabrerizo, M., et al. (2021) Recruitment of dendritic cell progenitors to foci of influenza A virus an infection sustains immunity. Science Immunology. doi.org/10.1126/sciimmunol.abi9331.

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