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Maintaining immune balance involves an unconventional mechanism of T cell regulation
Date:7/3/2013

sulted in dramatically reduced immune suppression by regulatory T cells and the mice rapidly developed a fatal inflammatory disorder.

Researchers also showed that mTORC1 works by integrating signals from two immune receptors on the cell surface with cholesterol metabolism. With the right input, mTORC1 promoted production of regulatory T cells and cemented their role as suppressors of immune activity.

In another twist, investigators linked that suppressive function to cholesterol and lipid metabolism. Rather than relying on more conventional strategies of immune regulation, researchers showed how regulatory T cells depend on the metabolic pathway to control production of molecules CTLA4 and ICOS, which are responsible for immune suppression. Production of CTLA4 and ICOS by regulatory T cells decreased as lipid metabolism dropped. "We are just starting to appreciate the importance of lipids in the immune system, particularly in the function of regulatory T cells," Chi said.


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Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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