Tag Archives: Immunology

Bacterial biofilms may play a role in lupus, research finds

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Lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type-1 diabetes are among more than a score of diseases in which the immune system attacks the body. But why the immune system begins its misdirected assault has remained a mystery. Now, researchers have shown that bacterial communities known as biofilm play a role in the development of the autoimmune disease […]

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The concept sounds like the stuff of science fiction: take a pill, and suddenly new tissues grow to replace damaged ones.

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Researchers at Case Western Reserve and UT Southwestern Medical Center this week announced that they have taken significant steps toward turning this once-improbable idea into a vivid reality. In a study published in the June 12 edition of Science, they detail how a new drug repaired damage to the colon, liver and bone marrow in […]

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Restoring natural immunity against cancers

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Scientists have successfully increased the infiltration of immune cells into tumors, thus inducing the immune system to block tumor growth. In a new article, the scientists show that, in combination with existing immunotherapies, this process efficiently destroys cancer cells. Scientists at the Institut Pasteur and Inserm have successfully increased the infiltration of immune cells into […]

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Antibody shows promise as treatment for HIV

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Antibody treatment reduced levels of HIV in study participants for 28 days. Treating HIV with an antibody can reduce the levels of the virus in people’s bodies — at least temporarily, scientists report on 8 April in Nature. The approach, called passive immunization, involves infusing antibodies into a person’s blood. Several trials are under way […]

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Ophthalmologists uncover autoimmune process that causes rejection of secondary corneal transplants

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UT Southwestern Medical Center ophthalmologists have identified an important cause of why secondary corneal transplants are rejected at triple the rate of first-time corneal transplants. The cornea — the most frequently transplanted solid tissue — has a first-time transplantation success rate of about 90 percent. But second corneal transplants undergo a rejection rate three times […]

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Benefits of immunotherapy, cancer-targeted treatment in triple combo drug for melanoma

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Results of a new study by UCLA researchers has found that a groundbreaking new triple combination therapy shows promising signs of more effectively controlling advanced melanoma than previous BRAF + MEK inhibitor or BRAF inhibitor + immunotherapy combos alone, and with increased immune response and fewer side effects. An estimated 70,000 new cases of metastatic […]

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How rare antibody targets Ebola and Marburg virus

Now scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have captured the first images showing how immune molecules bind to a site on the surface of Marburg virus. The images are like enemy reconnaissance, showing scientists how to target the virus’s weak spots with future treatments. The research team is also the first to describe an […]

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Link between powerful gene regulatory elements and autoimmune diseases

Investigators with the National Institutes of Health have discovered the genomic switches of a blood cell key to regulating the human immune system. The findings, published in Nature today, open the door to new research and development in drugs and personalized medicine to help those with autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid […]

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Neurogeneticists harness immune cells to clear Alzheimer’s associated plaques

The study, which appears in the Feb. 4 edition of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Neuron, identifies a promising avenue for treating a disease that the Alzheimer’s Association projects will affect 16 million Americans over age 65 by 2050. “Alzheimer’s disease is the public health crisis of our time, and effective treatment does not yet exist,” […]

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Immunology: Fifty years of B lymphocytes

Alexander D. Gitlin and Michel C. Nussenzweig reflect on the discovery of two lineages of adaptive immune cells, and how it influenced vaccination, cancer therapy and the development of a class of antibody-based drugs. At the time, the central question in immunology was how vertebrates tailor their defences to bacteria and viruses, whose chemical structures […]

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Immune cells boost cancer survival from months to years

Therapies that make use of a patient’s own T cells, a component of the immune system, are showing promise in the clinic. When immunologist Michel Sadelain launched his first trial of genetically engineered, cancer-fighting T cells in 2007, he struggled to find patients willing to participate. Studies in mice suggested that the approach — isolating […]

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Taming the inflammatory response in kidney dialysis

Frequent kidney dialysis is essential for the approximately 350,000 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in the United States. But it can also cause systemic inflammation, leading to complications such as cardiovascular disease and anemia, and patients who rely on the therapy have a five-year survival rate of only 35 percent. Such inflammation can be triggered […]

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‘Wimpy’ antibody protects against kidney disease in mice

Led by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s HospitalMedicalCenter and published online Nov. 2, 2014, in the journal Nature, the study finds that the mouse antibody IgG1, which is made in large quantities and resembles a human antibody known as IgG4, may actually be protective. “Antibodies protect against pathogens, in large […]

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Stem-cell success poses immunity challenge for diabetes

Researchers must now work out how to protect cell transplants from the immune systems of people with type 1 diabetes. Each year, surgeon Jose Oberholzer frees a few people with type 1 diabetes from daily insulin injections by giving them a transplant of the insulin-secreting β-cells that the disease attacks. But it is a frustrating […]

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Immune system of newborn babies stronger than previously thought

Contrary to what was previously thought, newborn immune T cells may have the ability to trigger an inflammatory response to bacteria, according to a new study led by King’s College London. Although their immune system works very differently to that of adults, babies may still be able to mount a strong immune defense, finds the […]

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Unusual immune cell needed to prevent oral Candidiasis, researchers find

Oral thrush is caused by an overgrowth of a normally present fungus called Candida albicans, which leads to painful white lesions in the mouth, said senior investigator Sarah L. Gaffen, Ph.D., professor, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Pitt School of Medicine. The infection is treatable, but is a common complication for people with HIV, […]

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* Piglet health: A better understanding of the immune response to intestinal parasites

Parasitologists from the University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna are closer to understanding the disease process behind porcine neonatal coccidiosis. The disease affects piglets during the first days of their life and can cause heavy diarrhea in the animals. The parasite Cystoisospora suis damages the intestinal mucosa to such a degree that it threatens the […]

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How stem cells can be used to treat lung disease

Previous studies have shown that stem cells can reduce lung inflammation and restore some function in ARDS, but experts are not sure how this occurs. The new study, which was presented at the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress, brings us a step closer to understanding the mechanisms that occur within an injured lung. ARDS is […]

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Blood transfusion called priority Ebola therapy

Treating Ebola patients with blood or purified serum of disease survivors should be a priority in the fight against the outbreak in West Africa, an expert panel organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) said on 5 September. The recommendation came at the end of a two-day meeting to determine which experimental Ebola therapies and […]

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* Researchers learn how to rejuvenate aging immune cells

Researchers from UCL (University College London) have demonstrated how an interplay between nutrition, metabolism and immunity is involved in the process of aging. The two new studies, supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), could help to enhance our immunity to disease through dietary intervention and help make existing immune system therapies […]

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Molecule regulates production of antibacterial agent used by immune cells

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NFATc3 is one of several related protein molecules known to play a role in regulating genes in the T and B cells of the immune system. Ravi Ranjan, research scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, who is first author on the paper, said he and his collaborators wanted to know […]

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Newborns exposed to dirt, dander, germs may have lower allergy, asthma risk

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Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to results of a study conducted by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and other institutions. Previous research has shown that […]

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Cancer immunotherapy: Potential new target found

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“We’ve known about these cells blocking immune response for a decade, but haven’t been able to shut them down for lack of an identified target,” said the paper’s senior author, Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Lymphoma/Myeloma and director of the Center for Cancer Immunology Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. […]

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Breakthrough in controlling T cell activation

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A team of UniformedServicesUniversity of the Health Sciences (USU) researchers led by Dr. Brian Schaefer, Associate Professor in USU’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, has demonstrated that the “POLKADOTS signalosome” (named for its dot-like appearance in cells) activates a protein called “NF-kappaB” in T cells. A signalosome is a cluster of proteins that works together […]

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How immune cells use steroids

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If you’ve ever used a steroid, for example cortisone cream on eczema, you’ll have seen first-hand how efficient steroids are at suppressing the immune response. Normally, when your body senses that immune cells have finished their job, it produces steroids -but which cells actually do that? In this latest study, scientists looked at Th2 immune […]

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Living organ regenerated for first time: Thymus rebuilt in mice

A team of scientists at the University of Edinburgh has succeeded in regenerating a living organ for the first time. The team rebuilt the thymus — an organ in the body located next to the heart that produces important immune cells. The advance could pave the way for new therapies for people with damaged immune […]

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Immunology: A tolerant approach

Despite a long record of failure, a few immunologists continue to pursue precisely targeted therapies for autoimmune diseases. Ever since Ed Wiley learned that he had type 1 diabetes in 1997, he has fretted over his meals, blood glucose levels and the daily programming of his insulin pump. Wiley, a statistician who lives outside Boulder, […]

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Immune cells need each other to combat deadly lung-invading fungus

Although long recognized as an essential defense against the lung-invading fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, Neutrophils actually require a little help from fellow immune cells, according to a study by Amariliz Rivera, her colleagues at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The study recently appeared in the […]

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It slices, it dices, and it protects the body from harm

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The discovery of the structure of this enzyme, a first-responder in the body’s “innate immune system,” could enable new strategies for fighting infectious agents and possibly prostate cancer and obesity. The work was published Feb. 27 in the journal Science. Until now, the research community has lacked a structural model of the human form of […]

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Immune cells regulate blood stem cells, research shows

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During an infection, the blood stem cells must complete two tasks: they must first recognize that more blood cells have to be produced and, secondly, they must recognize what kind are required. Immune cells control the blood stem cells in the bone marrow and therefore also the body’s own defenses, new research shows. The findings […]

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