Navigation Links
Helper cells aptly named in battle with invading pathogens
Date:8/9/2013

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- By tracking the previously unknown movements of a set of specialized cells, Whitehead Institute scientists are shedding new light on how the immune system mounts a successful defense against hostile, ever-changing invaders.

Central to the immune response is the activity inside structures known as germinal centers (GCs), which form in the body's lymph nodes upon detection of a foreign virus or bacteria. Within the GCs, populations of antibody-producing B cells move through continual cycles of mutation in an effort to generate antibodies perfectly suited to bind and neutralize the harmful invader. Because the production of such high-affinity antibodies requires diversity, multiple GCs arise in a single lymph node, with each GC housing an exclusive population of B cells.

During the mutation cycles, most of the B cells in any given GC fail to achieve sufficient antibody affinity and are eliminated. A few, however, measure up, and are selected to proliferate, leave the GC, and produce the antibodies that attack the offending pathogen. This selection process is driven by cells known as T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, which essentially cherry-pick the B cells capable of producing the most potent antibodies. Yet much of the behavior of Tfh cells has been something of a mystery. Until now.

By developing and deploying a novel cellular tagging and imaging methodology, a team of scientists led by Whitehead Fellow Gabriel Victora has discovered that, unlike their B cell counterparts, Tfh cells continually move from GC to GC within a lymph node. This surprising finding is reported in the August 9th edition of the journal Science.

Victora used fluorescence microscopy to trace the Tfh cells' migratory patterns in the lymph nodes of living mice, noting that these cells constantly migrate between germinal centers. This activity may enhance the diversity of antibody production by introducing static B cells to a range of dynamic Tfh cells, and could help explain how the immune system copes with mutating pathogens.

"We think this could be the way our immune system can maintain a targeted immune response, even when the target is moving," says Victora, whose latest research was conducted with collaborators at the Rockefeller University in New York.

Victora believes that continued mapping of the choreography between B cells and Tfh cells has significant implications for improving vaccine development, as it suggests opportunities to influence antibody development.

"We are slowly deciphering the rules governing antibody evolution in the germinal center," he says. "This will help inform vaccine design, especially for rapidly mutating viruses like HIV. It may be that manipulating the germinal center will be necessary to produce effective vaccines."


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Fearer
fearer@wi.mit.edu
617-452-4630
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cell receptor has proclivity for T helper 9 cells, airway inflammation
2. Invisible helpers: How probiotic bacteria protect against inflammatory bowel diseases
3. Cobalt replacements make solar cells more sustainable
4. Advance in regenerative medicine could make reprogrammed cells safer while improving their function
5. Computational biology: Cells reprogrammed on the computer
6. Pressurized virus blasts its infectious DNA into human cells
7. Researchers reveal the clearest new pictures of immune cells
8. Between B cells and T cells
9. A flip of the mitotic spindle has disastrous consequences for epithelial cells
10. Carnegie Mellon researchers develop artificial cells to study molecular crowding and gene expression
11. Researchers perform DNA computation in living cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/26/2017)... , Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence ... Biometrics and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as ... when increased adoption reflects a new understanding of ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often perceived ... Maxine Most , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , Jan. 23, 2017  The latest mobile ... smartphone prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price ... 2013 to $276 in Q4 2016.  There are now ... price of $116, up from just 28 a year ... According to Maxine Most , Acuity Market ...
(Date:1/18/2017)...  In vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies were very active ... and Kalorama Information expects that trend to continue – ... Generally, uncertainty in reimbursement and healthcare reform in ... the acquisitions landscape. Instead of looking to buy technology, ... outside of their home country and also to increase ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... The BMT Tandem ... Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) will take place Feb. ... , The combined scientific sessions offer investigators, clinicians, laboratory technicians, clinical research professionals, ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... FREMONT, Calif. , Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... pleased to announce development of a novel system ... in collaboration with the University of Rochester (NY, ... ). The new system is able to ... cancer biomarker, HER2 (Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... , ... EIT Digital has launched work to develop a new ... are about to get under way for the framework, which is designed to reduce ... is expected to be transferred eventually to other industries that also require efficient IoT ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. , Feb. 16, ... molecular diagnostics company revolutionizing the development of liquid ... that it has entered into an exclusive license ... who will distribute MDNA,s proprietary liquid biopsy test ... in South Korea . This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: