Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Dirty' wild mice may be more relevant immunology model

Date:
September 8, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Like humans, mice that live in their natural habitat encounter bacteria and other pathogens that exercise their immune system, yet lab mice typically used in immunology studies are raised in isolation from most diseases. A study on natural killer cells in wild mice examines the hypothesis that the unsterile living conditions faced by humans and wild mice may improve the readiness of the immune system to fight new infections.

Like humans, mice that live in their natural habitat encounter bacteria and other pathogens that exercise their immune system, yet the lab mice typically used in immunology studies are raised in isolation from most diseases. A study on natural killer cells in wild mice published in Molecular Ecology examines the hypothesis that the unsterile living conditions faced by humans and wild mice may improve the readiness of the immune system to fight new infections.

Related Articles


The findings suggest that the traditional lab mouse research model neglects environmental factors that are needed to fully represent the immune system of mice and humans.

Natural Killer (NK) cells are pivotal players in the onset of important immune defences in response to vaccines, infections or cancer. However, essential NK cell actions take place in the lymph nodes, and NK cells are generally not seen in lab mouse lymph nodes unless the animal is exposed to an infection. Humans and domestic animals, on the other hand, harbour NK cells in their lymph nodes at all times. Preben Boysen and colleagues at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that wild mice lymph nodes also had higher numbers of NK cells compared to lab mice, suggesting that these wild mice approximate human immune systems more closely than lab-mouse based immunology studies.

These findings correspond well with a recently proposed hypothesis that NK cells need a microbial priming phase in order to become fully responsive. The increased NK cell activity in wild mice could also reflect the recent discoveries that NK cells carry imprints of previous microbial encounters and remain for long periods as "memory-like" cells, challenging the previous notion that such cells are normally short-lived immune cells.

One important interpretation of these findings is that immunological research in the traditional mouse model may miss out important NK based immune responses, since these important cellular players will not have gone through the microbial priming that would normally occur in a mouse or a human's natural environment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Preben Boysen, Dag M. Eide, Anne K. Storset. Natural killer cells in free-living Mus musculus have a primed phenotype. Molecular Ecology, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05269.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "'Dirty' wild mice may be more relevant immunology model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907192320.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, September 8). 'Dirty' wild mice may be more relevant immunology model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907192320.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "'Dirty' wild mice may be more relevant immunology model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907192320.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) A new species of fish is discovered living five miles beneath the ocean surface, making it the deepest living fish on earth. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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