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UT Southwestern researchers develop screening test for cells that activate immune system

he body at the cellular level looking for antigens - foreign cells and materials invading the body - and for molecular signatures of tissue damage or infection.

"Their primary job is to present antigens to the immune system so that you develop protective immunity for infection and cancer," said Dr. Takashima.

The DC biosensor system should help pharmaceutical and biotech companies sift through large numbers of chemicals for ones that tell the dendritic cells to launch the immune response. It may also prove useful in identifying biothreat agents because it detects infectious pathogens with high sensitivity.

Dr. Takashima said he hopes to garner additional funding to discover potent immuno-stimulatory drugs by screening high-quality libraries of compounds.

Doing so may be the first step toward developing a new class of vaccines that force or trick the natural immune system to kick on, or initiate an immune response that can be copied and initiated artificially.

Other UT Southwestern researchers from dermatology involved in the study were Dr. Yasushi Ogawa, postdoctoral researcher, and Dr. Jimin Gao, former instructor.


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Source:UT Southwestern Medical Center


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