Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Strategy Suggested For Protecting Aging Americans Against Infectious Disease

Date:
December 20, 2007
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Researchers have uncovered new information about the body's immune system in a study that suggests new strategies may be in order for protecting the country's aging population against disease. The scientists discovered an actual process by which nave T-cells are lost later in life.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have uncovered new information about the body's immune system in a study that suggests new strategies may be in order for protecting the country's aging population against disease.

The research focused on an important component of the body's immune system, a certain type of white blood cell called nave T-cells. These cells are called naive because they have no experience of encountering germs. However, once they encounter germs, they learn and adapt to become strong defenders of the organism. The cells play an important role in the vaccination process because vaccines, which contain either weakened or dead viruses, teach nave T-cells how to recognize germs and prepare the body for fighting infectious diseases at a later date. Previous research shows that an individual's supply of nave T-cells diminishes over their lifetime, meaning that in old age a person is more susceptible to infections such as the flu.

"Our research identified one actual process by which nave T-cells are lost later in life," explained Janko Nikolich-Zugich, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and the Oregon National Primate Research Center and a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

"Throughout our lives, nave T-cells divide very slowly in our bodies. This helps maintain sufficient numbers of nave T-cells while we are young. As we age, nave T-cells are lost and the remaining ones speed up their division to make up for the losses in their numbers. Interestingly, after a certain point, this actually causes the numbers of nave T-cells to dwindle over time. Our data shows that once the number of nave T-cells drops below a critical point, the rapidly dividing nave cells are very short lived. Based on this finding and other information, research suggests that some of the aging Americans may be better protected against disease by finding a way to jumpstart production of new nave T-cells instead of through revaccination."

Nikolich-Zugich and his colleagues are now working on methods to encourage the body to restart production of nave T-cells.

"Even a slight boost in the number of these important T-cells could protect an aging person against disease for several years," explained Nikolich-Zugich.

The research is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The research was funded by U.S. Public Health Service Awards, The National Institute on Aging, a component of the National Institutes of Health; and Oregon National Primate Research Center funds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "New Strategy Suggested For Protecting Aging Americans Against Infectious Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217141436.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2007, December 20). New Strategy Suggested For Protecting Aging Americans Against Infectious Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217141436.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "New Strategy Suggested For Protecting Aging Americans Against Infectious Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217141436.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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:
from the past week

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