t also means one day physicians might steer early education of regulatory T cells in the thymus as a way to vaccinate children against diseases such as lupus, arthritis and type 1diabetes. Or, they might add regulatory T cells to improve the mix in people who already have some bad police.
“We need some of the regulatory cells more than others,” says Dr. Ignatowicz. “We probably need more of the ones that recognize autoantigens on the pancreas and we need the ones that recognize tumors to be less frequent.”
The fact that most regulatory T cells in the body come directly from the thymus, not from other circulating T cells, also was previously unknown, Dr. Pacholczyk says. “Where they come from is the main question we wanted to answer,” says Dr. Ignatowicz.
It has been thought that some T cells circulating in the body might make the transformation, possibly because of what they are exposed to in the body. In fact T cells most aggressive at attacking endogenous tissue likely would be among those converting to protective regulatory cells, Dr. Ignatowicz says. “We did not find that does not happen, but it’s not the major mechanism for generating regulatory cells in the body,” Dr. Pacholczyk says.
All T cells are made in the bone marrow then move to the thymus as progenitor cells where they differentiate, upregulating surface receptors, which are molecules that detect different antigens. It’s a brutal process – 95 percent of the cells die in the thymus primarily because they recognize body tissue – that winds down after puberty.
All T cells wear their receptors for life, like signature hats. “We decided to compare receptors on the regulatory cells in the periphery with those in the thymus,” says Dr. Pacholczyk. By analyzing receptors on individual cells, they were able to follow the cells after they left the thymus and see if they changed.
Another key question was how regulatory T cells, which make uPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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