Navigation Links
Natural killer cells could be key to anthrax defense
Date:10/27/2011

GALVESTON, Texas -- One of the things that makes inhalational anthrax so worrisome for biodefense experts is how quickly a relatively small number of inhaled anthrax spores can turn into a lethal infection. By the time an anthrax victim realizes he or she has something worse than the flu and seeks treatment, it's often too late; even the most powerful antibiotics may be no help against the spreading bacteria and the potent toxins they generate.

Now, though, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have found new allies for the fight against anthrax. Known as natural killer cells, they're a part of the immune system normally associated with eliminating tumor cells and cells infected by viruses. But natural killer cells also attack bacteria -- including anthrax, according to the UTMB group.

"People become ill so suddenly from inhalational anthrax that there isn't time for a T cell response, the more traditional cellular immune response," said UTMB assistant professor Janice Endsley, lead author of a paper now online in the journal Infection and Immunity. "NK cells can do a lot of the same things, and they can do them immediately."

In test-tube experiments, a collaborative team led by Endsley and Professor Johnny Peterson profiled the NK cell response to anthrax, documenting how NK cells successfully detected and killed cells that had been infected by anthrax, destroying the bacteria inside the cells along with them. Surprisingly, they found that NK cells were also able to detect and kill anthrax bacteria outside of human cells.

"Somehow these NK cells were able to recognize that there was something hostile there, and they actually caused the death of these bacteria," Endsley said.

In further experiments, the group compared the anthrax infection responses of normal mice and mice that were given a treatment to remove NK cells from the body. All the mice died with equal rapidity when given a large dose of anthrax spores, but the non-treated (NK cell-intact) mice had much lower levels of bacteria in their blood. "This is a significant finding," Endsley said. "Growth of bacteria in the bloodstream is an important part of the disease process."

The next step, according to Endsley, is to apply an existing NK cell-augmentation technique (many have already been developed for cancer research) to mice, in an attempt to see if the more numerous and active NK cells can protect them from anthrax. Even if the augmented NK cells don't provide enough protection by themselves, they could give a crucial boost in combination with antibiotic treatment.

"We may not be able to completely control something just by modulating the immune response," Endsley said. "But if we can complement antibiotic effects and improve the efficiency of antibiotics, that would be of value as well."


'/>"/>
Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Low levels of natural antibodies behind stroke
2. Whitemark Homes, Inc. Announces Corporate Update on Merger With Ribbon Naturals Corp.
3. Foamsource Introduces Natural Slumber 100% Natural Latex Mattresses & Toppers with Free Shipping
4. ThermaSkin Offers Free Natural Pepper Remedy To Acne Sufferers
5. Brooke Burke Named Spokeswoman for underWAY(TM), Americas First All Natural Appetite Suppressing Beverage & Thirst Quencher
6. New Study: Improved Immune System with Gene-Eden, a Natural Antiviral Supplement that Targets Chronic Viruses
7. Transcendental Meditation activates default mode network, the brains natural ground state
8. David Wolfe Hosts 3-Day Longevity Conference: Top Wellness Experts Reveal Tomorrow's Best Natural Health and Nutrition Information Today
9. Oram Plus Set to Take the Pain out of Gum Disease and Cavities, Naturally
10. Thrush Sufferers Seek Out Safe, Natural Remedies for Thrush, Driving a 237% Increase in Sales for "The 3 Day Thrush Cure"
11. 'Get Pregnant' Aims To Help Couples Conceive Naturally, Faster
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... Individuals who seek to ... as drinking more water or limiting their exposure to the sun, according to a ... beauty group Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) notes that, while preventive measures to help keep ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... An inventor, from Talladega, Ala., thought there ... she invented the patent-pending SLING-VEST. , The SLING-VEST provides an effective way to support ... to traditional slings. As a result, it helps to reduce discomfort and shifting. The ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... health insights for population health management, announces today a strategic relationship with ... CitiusTech’s cloud-hosted clinical rules engine that offers advanced Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... It ... Women’s Magazine inaugural Maine Women’s Expo. Hundreds of women gathered to check out ... resource. The expo’s beneficiary this year was Crossroads, a fully-accredited gender-responsive treatment ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... The Touchpoint Solution’s new ... after launch. Almost 200 backers pledged more than $25,000 on Kickstarter ... , Dr. Amy Serin, an Arizona Neuropsychologist and inventor, says she feels like ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... leading RNA medicines company, announced today that it ... to develop RNA-based therapeutics for the treatment of ... Arcturus, wholly-owned therapeutic delivery platform LUNAR™ and UNA ... "Given Takeda,s long-standing commitment to and ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... 6, 2016  Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... discovery and development of innovative medicines targeting microRNAs, ... its R&D day, held in New ... an anti-miR targeting microRNA-27 (miR-27) for the treatment ... an anti-miR targeting microRNA-17 (miR-17) for the treatment ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016 A new study ... 340B (AIR 340B) projects the 340B Drug Pricing Program will ... which time it is expected to exceed $23 billion in ... see 340B purchases surpass current Medicare Part B drug reimbursement ... new study – based on analysis of data on total ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: