Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First ever 'atlas' of T cells in human body

Date:
December 20, 2012
Source:
Columbia University Medical Center
Summary:
By analyzing tissues harvested from organ donors, researchers have created the first ever "atlas" of immune cells in the human body. Their results provide a unique view of the distribution and function of T lymphocytes in healthy individuals. In addition, the findings represent a major step toward development of new strategies for creating vaccines and immunotherapies.

By analyzing tissues harvested from organ donors, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have created the first ever "atlas" of immune cells in the human body. Their results provide a unique view of the distribution and function of T lymphocytes in healthy individuals. In addition, the findings represent a major step toward development of new strategies for creating vaccines and immunotherapies. The study was published December 20 in the online edition of the journal Immunity.

Related Articles


T cells, a type of white blood cell, play a major role in cell-mediated immunity, in which the immune system produces various types of cells to defend the body against pathogens, cancer cells, and foreign substances.

"We found that T cells are highly compartmentalized -- that is, each tissue we examined had its own complement of T cells," said study leader Donna L. Farber, PhD, professor of surgical sciences at CUMC and a principal investigator with the new Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI), directed by Megan Sykes, MD. "The results were remarkably similar in all donors, even though these people were very different in terms of age, background, and lifestyle."

The researchers also discovered a receptor that is expressed on the surface of "tissue-resident" T cells but not on circulating T cells. Using this marker, Dr. Farber and her colleagues established that the blood is its own compartment. "In other words, T cells found in circulation are not the same as T cells in the tissues," said Dr. Farber.

According to the researchers, the findings establish a baseline for T-cell immunity in healthy individuals. This knowledge can be used to better understand how various tissues respond to site-specific and systemic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The findings can therefore powerfully inform the development of new vaccine strategies. "To make better vaccines, it may be necessary to activate a T-cell response at the site of an infection, not just in the general circulation," said Dr. Farber. "But first we have to know what types of immune cells are in those tissues and how they function. This is a first step in that direction."

To study T cells, researchers need multiple tissue samples, which cannot be taken from healthy individuals. Working with the New York Organ Donor Network, the organ procurement organization for the greater New York metropolitan area, CUMC researchers obtained tissue samples from 24 individual organ donors. Samples were taken from tissues that have direct contact with pathogens, including lymph, lung, spleen, and small and large intestines. The donors, all of whom had died suddenly of traumatic causes, ranged in age from 15 to 60. All were HIV-negative and free of cancer and other chronic or immunological diseases.

"Most of what we have known about human T cells is based on studies of the blood, because it is so accessible," said Dr. Farber. "But that is only a small sampling of the body's T cells. We already had good evidence, from mouse studies, that other tissues have their own types of T cells and that they play an important role in mediating immune protection. We wanted to find out if this was the case in humans."

The title of the paper is "Distribution and compartmentalization of human circulating and tissue-resident memory T cell subsets." The other contributors are Taheri Sathaliyawala (CUMC), Masaru Kubota (CUMC), Naomi Yudanin (CUMC), Damian Turner (CUMC), Philip Camp (CUMC), Joseph J. C. Thome (CUMC), Kara L. Bickham (CUMC), Harvey Lerner (New York Organ Donor Network, New York, NY), Michael Goldstein (New York Organ Donor Network and Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY), Megan Sykes (CUMC), and Tomoaki Kato (CUMC).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Taheri Sathaliyawala, Masaru Kubota, Naomi Yudanin, Damian Turner, Philip Camp, Joseph J.C. Thome, Kara L. Bickham, Harvey Lerner, Michael Goldstein, Megan Sykes, Tomoaki Kato, Donna L. Farber. Distribution and Compartmentalization of Human Circulating and Tissue-Resident Memory T Cell Subsets. Immunity, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.09.020

Cite This Page:

Columbia University Medical Center. "First ever 'atlas' of T cells in human body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143652.htm>.
Columbia University Medical Center. (2012, December 20). First ever 'atlas' of T cells in human body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143652.htm
Columbia University Medical Center. "First ever 'atlas' of T cells in human body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143652.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
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