Navigation Links
WBC Selective About Sugar

Neutrophil is selective of its reaction to a particular variety of sugar present on the surface of pathogenic fungi .

According to Biology textbooks neutrophils are regarded as mindless killers. White blood cells (WBC) form an integral part of blood. They are the policeman guarding our internal body. They protect our body from various kinds of infections caused by bacteria and fungi by spotting and wiping out any intruder that invades the body. A new study shows that neutrophils may in fact differentiate between their targets. This new indication can prove useful in the research for new drugs to battle lethal pathogens.

A scientist in the lab of Whitehead Member Gerald Fink has discovered that neutrophils recognize and respond to a specific form of sugar called beta-1, 6-glucan on the surface of fungi. This sugar comprises just a small fraction of the fungal cell wall, much less than another sugar with a slightly different chemical conformation called beta-1,3-glucan. Because the scarce form of the sugar elicits a much stronger reaction from immune cells than the abundant one, it appears that neutrophils can distinguish between two nearly identical chemicals.

These results show that engulfment and killing by neutrophils varies, depending on cell wall properties of the microbe, explains Whitehead postdoctoral researcher Ifat Rubin-Bejerano, first author on the paper, which appears July 11 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. We showed that neutrophils respond in a completely different way to slight changes in sugar composition. If we are able to use this unique sugar to excite the immune system, it may help the human body fight infection.

Previously, everyone thought that these key cells of the immune system weren't picky and would eat anything that looked foreign, adds Fink, who is also an MIT professor of biology. Ifat's work has shown that the cells aren't little Pac-Men, but can discriminate one pathogen from another.

Rubin-Bejerano had evidence that neutrophils respond to beta-glucan. After coating tiny beads with a variety of substances (including beta-1,3-glucan and beta-1,6-glucan), she exposed them to the neutrophils and was surprised to see a striking difference in their response to the two sugars. The neutrophils quickly engulfed many of the beads coated with beta-1,6-glucan, but only a few of those covered in beta-1,3-glucan.

Previous studies indicated that blood serum (basically blood minus cells) helps neutrophils recognize their enemies, so Rubin-Bejerano decided to look for clues to their response in this mixture. She identified several proteins in serum that bind to beta-1,6-glucan, but not beta-1,3-glucan, and then pinpointed a molecule on the surface of the neutrophil that recognizes these proteins.

To link her experiments back to real fungi, Rubin-Bejerano worked with the pathogen Candida albicans, which is the most common fungus in blood stream infections. She used an enzyme to digest beta-1,6-glucan from the fungal cell wall, leaving the beta-1,3-glucan intact. She then unleashed the neutrophils on these altered cells and observed a 50 percent reduction in the immune response.

Our bodies maintain a fine balance between the immune system and microbes. Antibiotics and antifungals tilt the balance in favor of the immune system by targeting the microbes directly. A substance like beta-1,6-glucan could help tilt this balance further by stimulating immune cells.

Rubin-Bejeranos work offers hope for combating the growing problem of microbial infections, which can seriously threaten human healthparticularly in patients with compromised immune systems. In fact, Rubin-Bejerano co-founded a company called ImmuneXcite to explore this possibility.


Related medicine news :

1. Selective eating just an evolutionary trait?
2. New Study Questions Cannibalism As A Worldwide Selective Force
3. Govt to Pass Amendment to Curb Sex Selective Abortions: Ramadoss
4. Selective Marker Found to Indicate Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer
5. Selective Marker Found to Indicate Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer
6. Wiping Out Memories Selectively, is Possible Now
7. Breast Cancer Survivors Worry About Infertility
8. Breast Cancer Survivors Worry About Infertility
9. Improving Lighting Could Bring About A Change In Alzheimers Patients
10. Poll Finds Many Americans Misinformed About Cancer
11. Poll Finds Many Americans Misinformed About Cancer
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor ... on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning ... innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an ... showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American ... to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ), one of the Nation’s ... design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and full ... while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from an ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic ... Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and ... Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... 2017   Montrium , an industry leader ... the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection Readiness ... EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF Connect ... management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research organization ... transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, improve ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses pulsed sound energy ... ... Jim Bertolina, PhD ... Tom Tefft ... executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business development teams at ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis ... global supply chains, has published the first annual edition of its Global ... more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that ... ... Risk & Performance Index ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: