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Fish fend off invading germs with an initial response similar to the one found in people
Date:9/23/2009

rray of proteins that rally the defense mechanisms of the infected cell and activate the immune system. They also found that compromising the ability of the zebrafish embryos to produce IFN-γ impairs the fish's ability to survive infection. Thus, the zebrafish embryo may provide a very simple model to understand the innate immune response.

Interestingly, large quantities of bacteria, which would cause septic shock -- a potentially fatal condition -- in humans, do not elicit the same response in zebrafish. This suggests that some key differences between the immune systems of zebrafish and humans may also provide insight into harmful events associated with inflammation.

The characterization of IFN-γ function in zebrafish is presented in the Research Article titled 'The role of gamma interferon in innate inity in the zebrafish embryo', which was written by Dirk Sieger, Cornelia, David Neifer and Maria Leptin at the University of Cologne in Germany and Astrid van der Sar at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. The study is published in the November/December 2009 issue of the new research journal, Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), http://dmm.biologists.org/, published by The Company of Biologists, a non-profit based in Cambridge, UK.


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Contact: Kristy Kain
kristy.kain@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-1298
The Company of Biologists
Source:Eurekalert

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