Navigation Links
UGA study reveals flu-fighting role for well-known immune component
Date:6/26/2012

Athens, Ga. University of Georgia scientists have discovered a new flu-fighting role for a well-known component of the immune system. Kimberly Klonowski, assistant professor of cellular biology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and her colleagues found that administering a cell-signaling protein known as IL-15 to mice infected with influenza reduces their peak viral load by nearly three times.

"We gave the IL-15 intranasally and found that it enhanced the movement of the immune system's natural killer cells and CD8 T cells into the lung airways," said Klonowski, whose findings were recently published in the journal PLoS ONE. "As a result, the animals that received it cleared the virus faster than the control group."

Klonowski cautioned that the protein is only effective against influenza for a defined period of time immediately following infection, which would make its use as a flu treatment difficult to implement. She added that IL-15 has been tested as a vaccine-booster, or adjuvant, in other viral diseases such as HIV, monkey pox and hepatitis B; understanding its mechanism of action is essential to maximizing its effectiveness in these contexts.

IL-15 was discovered nearly 20 years ago and is part of a group of immune system proteins known as interleukins. Klonowski noted until recently, however, its primary role was thought to be the maintenance of immune memory cells. Yet Klonowski and her colleagues found that concentrations of the protein surge in the respiratory tract in response to influenza infections, which led them to hypothesize that it also might play a role in controlling the virus.

The scientists devised a series of experiments in mice to discern the role of IL-15 in the immune response. It turns out that IL-15 is one of the body's critical first responders during influenza infection.

First, the scientists blocked the action of IL-15 in mice infected with influenza and found that the number of natural killer cells was reduced 20-fold at the site of infection in comparison with the control group, which received a placebo. Next, scientists administered IL-15 into the airways of mice infected with influenza and found that these mice had three times more natural killer cells than the control group. In addition, their peak viral load decreased by nearly three times.

Klonowski said that despite what their name might suggest, natural killer cells really aren't the most effective components of the immune system. They do indeed kill infected cells, but not in numbers great enough to completely eradicate infection. CD8 T cells that arrive later in the immune response are the ones that clear the infection, riding in like a cavalry to save the day. Klonowski's study suggests that CD8 T cells require the initial presence of natural killer cells, which send some still-unknown signal that subsequently attracts CD8 T cells to the infection site. Her study found that without the presence of IL-15 and the natural killer cells it recruits, the cavalry never makes it to the site of the battle in the respiratory tract.

The researchers are now working to identify the molecular signals that the natural killer cells send with the ultimate goal of directing CD8 T cells more rapidly and precisely to the site of infection. "Even though this paper deals with natural killer cells, we are still really focused on the CD8 T cells, because they're the cell population that is required for complete viral clearance," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kimberly Klonowski
klonowsk@uga.edu
706-583-5576
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
3. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
4. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
5. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
6. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
7. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
8. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
9. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
10. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
11. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud ... work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the ... at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application ... team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a ... discoveries to the medical community, has closed its Series ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received a ... the capital we need to meet our current goals," ... provide us the runway to complete validation on the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated electronic ... showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 for ... Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug Information ...
Breaking Biology Technology: