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.

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 April 20, 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 April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. 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