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Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Date:8/15/2011

c cells. (Cytokines are immune regulatory cells.) In this study, Jack R. Wands and colleagues of Brown University, Providence, RI, compared dendritic cells produced by alcoholic and non-alcoholic mice, which they first removed from the mice.

The result: dendritic cells from the alcoholic mice had a poor ability to activate T cells, while the dendritic cells from mice on isocaloric diets containing no alcohol functioned normally. The researchers found further that the dendritic cells from alcohol-fed mice showed reduced antigen presentation compared to those from control mice, as well as less production of the regulatory cytokines. This research also confirmed earlier results showing that alcohol inhibits cytokine secretion by dendritic cells.

"This research helps us understand why alcoholics are predisposed to bacterial and viral infections, and why they do not respond well to vaccines," says Wands. Understanding this, he says, will help in the development of ways to improve dendritic cell function in people with alcohol syndromes.

(A. Eden, V. Ortiz, and J.R. Wands, 2011. Ethanol inhibits antigen presentation by dendritic cells. Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 18:1157-1166.)


Influence of Breast Milk Vs. Formula and Genetics on Gut Microbiota Composition Could Help Prevent Celiac Disease

The autoimmune condition, Celiac disease, afflicts roughly one in 133 Americans. It is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Now a team of investigators from Spain shows that the level of genetic risk of celiac disease influences the composition of infants' gut microbiota, and confirms earlier studies showing that the type of milk feedingbreast vs. formulaalso influences the species distribution. Their hypothesis is that these changes in the intestinal microbiota may directly influence the risk of celiac disease, and that if this is so, changes in dietparticularly breast feedingcould reduce that ri
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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