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Adaptive immune cells temper initial innate responses

Author: Update time: 2009-09-06

Joint research by the labs of Professors Hong Tang and Yang-Xin Fu has shown that T cells of the adaptive immune system suppress overzealous early innate responses to infection ( “cytokine storm” ) that usually lead to severe immunopathology and high death rates. They have been able to show, through the depletion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in wild-type mice or by adoptive transfer of T lymphocytes into Rag-1 deficient mice (lack of T cells), that T cells are both necessary and sufficient to temper the early innate response. They further demonstrated that viral infection or administration of a synthetic RNA virus genome mimicry compound, poly (I:C), PKA activation bypasses the requirement for UNC-31 in the docking of dense core vesicles from C.elegans neurons Neuron 2007,56(4):657-669 led to cytokine storm in T-cell-deficient mouse NK cells in a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) dependent manner. They also found that, in addition to the conventional inhibitory T cells (Treg cells), close contact of resting non-Treg (CD4+CD25-Foxp3-) or CD8+ T cells with innate cells could also suppress the cytokine surge in an antigen-independent fashion. These findings suggest that early innate immunity requires adaptive immunity to be in check in order to maintain the appropriate immune responses. These findings may point to a novel mechanism of immunopathology during acute infections and lead to the development of potential anti-inflammation regimes.

This work was published on NATURE MEDICINE (2007,13(10):1248-1252).

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