Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Front-line Immune Cells Mature In Four Stages, Study Shows

Date:
April 24, 2006
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Researchers here have cracked the site and the stages of development for the last major set of human immune cells. The researchers found that natural killer (NK) cells, one of the body's front-line defenses against cancer and infections, mature from progenitor stem cells in four discrete stages. They also found that this happens in secondary lymphoid tissue such as tonsils and lymph glands.

Researchers here have cracked the site and the stages of development for the last major set of human immune cells.

Related Articles


The researchers found that natural killer (NK) cells, one of the body's front-line defenses against cancer and infections, mature from progenitor stem cells in four discrete stages. They also found that this happens in secondary lymphoid tissue such as tonsils and lymph glands.

Key discoveries made decades ago in animals and humans showed that the other two major types of immune cells in the body, T cells and B cells, developed in the thymus and bone marrow, respectively. However, the site and stages of human NK cell development have eluded investigators until now.

The findings advance the understanding of NK cells, which play a key role in triggering broader immune responses such as the body's permanent protection following vaccination. Understanding the secrets of NK cell development in humans could lead to new therapies for cancer, infection and for patients with immune deficiencies.

The study by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) is published in the April 17 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Identification of the stem cell from which the human NK cell is derived was published by the OSUCCC research team last year in the journal Immunity.

“While there is a lot more work to do, this discovery unlocks another of Mother Nature's secrets,” says principal investigator Michael A. Caligiuri, director of the OSUCCC and the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

“Still, we believe it opens new doors to manipulating the human immune system to our benefit, and we're working on that right now,” says Caligiuri, who is also professor of internal medicine, of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and of veterinary biosciences.

“The findings will also boost NK-cell research,” says first author Aharon G. Freud, a physician who is a doctoral student in Caligiuri's laboratory. “The next step is to figure out why they develop in lymph tissue and whether patients with cancer have altered NK cell development.”

Scientists have known for some time that cells with a protein called CD34 on their surface can give rise to NK cells. They also knew that mature NK cells lack CD34. But how and where the CD34-bearing cells became mature NK cells was not understood.

For this study, Caligiuri, Freud and their collaborators analyzed tissues from more than 50 tonsils and 30 lymph nodes from the OSUCCC Tissue Procurement Shared Resource and from the National Disease Research Interchange.

Through a series of experiments, they identified additional protein markers, particularly one called CD117, that suggested that NK cells mature in four discrete stages in these tissues.

Ironically, a clue came 10 years ago, when Caligiuri discovered CD117 on mature NK cells. “NK cells were the only immune cell to express CD117, and CD117 is a stem-cell marker, so that told us there was a bridge between stem cells and NK cells.” Once we discovered where to look (in lymph tissue), it was just a matter of careful, diligent work.”

The researchers also isolated cells of each stage and showed that under the proper conditions, stage-1 progenitor cells matured into stage-2 NK cells, and that these cells matured into stage-3 cells and stage-4 cells, with the hallmarks and cell-killing capacity of mature NK cells.

The researchers are now working to gain a detailed understanding of stage-2 and stage-3 NK cells, including precisely where they mature within tonsils and lymph nodes and whether they play a role in immune responses or are just going through the maturation process.

Funding from the National Cancer Institute supported this research. Caligiuri is also the John L. Marakas Nationwide Insurance Enterprise Foundation Chair in Cancer Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Front-line Immune Cells Mature In Four Stages, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060423223034.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2006, April 24). Front-line Immune Cells Mature In Four Stages, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060423223034.htm
Ohio State University. "Front-line Immune Cells Mature In Four Stages, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060423223034.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins