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:11/24/2016)... -- Cercacor today introduced Ember TM Sport Premium ... measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, Perfusion Index, ... approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, using only ... key data about their bodies to help monitor these ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When hemoglobin and ...
(Date:11/19/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and criminal ... monitoring, announced today that it has offered a challenge ... technology judge determine who has the largest and best ... platform, and the best customer service. "ICSolutions ... we do – which clearly is not the case ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... clinical company developing therapeutics focused on the gut ... public offering of 25,000,000 shares of its common ... its common stock at a price to the ... gross proceeds to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... and SAN DIEGO , Dec. 6, ... appointment of Santosh Kesari , MD, PhD, FANA, ... leverage his experience in neurology and clinical trials to ... cell for treatment of stroke. The AmnioStem product is a ... has previously shown therapeutic activity in animal models of ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  SRI International has ... million from the National Institutes of Health,s National ... Division of AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to support the manufacturing ... pre-exposure (PreP) agents. Under the seven-year contract, SRI ... development services for candidate HIV-prevention products that emerge ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... company focused on discovery and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, ... for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) inhibited the direct neurotoxic effect of prion-like forms ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Dec. 5, 2016 Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: ... focused on the treatment of dementia, today announced that ... treatment of Alzheimer,s disease will be presented at the ... Friday, December 9, 2016 in San Diego ... of both simple and complex measures of activities of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: