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:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... awareness about the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, ... for individuals who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain ... for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it ... the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s ... the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to ... genomics experience, as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular ... the sales team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, ... Canada)" report to their offering. ... essential tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure ... at surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June 23, 2016  Delcath Systems, ... and medical device company focused on treatment of primary ... website for European patient education - www.againsttheodds.eu ... Biannual Digital Health Awards. ... resource for European patients and their families who are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: