Study shows nervous and immune systems ‘need to talk’ for bone repair

In a December 2019 study, a team of Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers demonstrated in mice that repair of bone fractures requires the generation, growth and spread of nerve cells, or neurons, throughout the injured area. This, they showed, partly relies on a protein known as nerve growth factor (NGF). Now, the researchers have dug deeper into this process to better […]

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Immune properties in ancient DNA found in isolated villages might benefit humanity today

Could remnants of DNA from a now extinct human subspecies known as the Denisovans help boost the immune functions of modern humans? An international study co-led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, and published in the scientific journal PLOS Genetics, represents the first characterizations of genes in the DNA of healthy individuals from […]

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The microbiome controls immune system fitness

Working alongside colleagues in Mainz, Bern, Hannover and Bonn, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin (DRFZ) were able to show how the microbiome helps to render the immune system capable of responding to pathogens. If microbiome-derived signals are absent, relevant mediators are not released, resulting in a […]

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New insight into immune cell behavior offers opportunities for cancer treatment

An international group of scientists has discovered that certain cells of our immune system—the so-called T cells—communicate with each other and work together as a team. To fight an infection they stimulate each other’s growth, but at the same time, they inhibit each other when there is a surplus of T cells. That insight offers new opportunities for the treatment […]

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Blood-clotting protein and blood platelets promote immune evasion, cancer progression

A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC—James) reveals how a clotting protein and blood platelets can promote cancer progression and suppress immune responses to cancer. The findings show how thrombin, a clotting protein in the blood, causes blood platelets to release transforming […]

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How dying cells prevent dangerous immune reactions

Dying cells in the body can keep the immune system in check, thus preventing unwanted immune responses against the body’s own tissues. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now identified a receptor on murine immune cells that activates this protective mechanism and can thus prevent dangerous autoimmune reactions in which the immune system attacks the patient’s own body […]

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New model explains how our immune system sometimes helps cancer spread

Mathematicians at the University of Alberta have developed a model that explains how the immune system interacts with cancer—and in some cases, may help cancer spread to other areas of the body. “Past research has shown that sometimes, the immune system has the opposite effect of what we might expect,” said Thomas Hillen, a mathematical biologist at the U of […]

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Immune cells in skin kill MRSA bacteria before they enter the body

A type of immune cell called neutrophils could be responsible for controlling bacterial numbers of an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on human skin before the bacteria get a chance to invade, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in Cell Reports. The results could provide an explanation for why this superbug is only carried transiently by […]

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The night gardeners: Immune cells rewire, repair brain while we sleep

Science tells us that a lot of good things happen in our brains while we sleep—learning and memories are consolidated and waste is removed, among other things. New research shows for the first time that important immune cells called microglia—which play an important role in reorganizing the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage—are also primarily active while […]

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