Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecule that polices TB lung infection discovered: Could lead to vaccine

Date:
January 2, 2013
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
The presence of a certain molecule allows the immune system to effectively police tuberculosis of the lungs and prevent it from turning into an active and deadly infection, according to a new study.

The presence of a certain molecule allows the immune system to effectively police tuberculosis (TB) of the lungs and prevent it from turning into an active and deadly infection, according to a new study led by researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their findings appear January 3 in the online version of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Related Articles


More than 2 billion people or one-third of the world's population are infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, said senior author Shabaana A. Khader, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Pitt School of Medicine. The infection is challenging to treat partly because the bacillus is able to enter cells and linger for years without causing symptoms, known as latent TB. Then, typically when the immune system becomes impaired due to other reasons such as age or HIV, the infection becomes active and causes the cough, night sweats, fever and weight loss that characterize the disease.

"A hallmark of TB that we see on chest X-rays is the granuloma, a collection of immune cells that surround the infected lung cells," Dr. Khader said. "But what we didn't know was the difference between a functioning protective granulomae, as in latent TB, and a non-protective granuloma seen in active TB patients. We aimed to find immunologic markers that could show us the status of the infection."

For the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the researchers studied human TB-infected cells as well animal models of the disease. They found that granulomas that contain ectopic lymphoid structures, which resemble lymph nodes, are associated with effective suppression of TB, and that granulomas that don't contain them are associated with active TB. They also learned that immune cells called T cells that had a surface marker molecule called CXCR5 were associated with the presence of ectopic lymphoid structures.

It's akin to reporting a break-in, Dr. Khader said. If a person calls 911 because of a robbery, but doesn't give a specific address, the immune system police could come to the neighborhood but don't know for certain which home was invaded.

"The presence of CXCR5 provides a specific address for the infected cells that tells the immune cells where to focus their attention to contain the problem," she explained. "That results in the formation of ectopic lymphoid structures and the protective granuloma that keeps TB infection under control, unlike in active disease. Without CXCR5, those structures did not form and active TB was more likely."

When the researchers delivered CXCR5 T cells from donor animals to TB-infected mice that lacked CXCR5, T cell localization and ectopic lymphoid structure formation was restored, leading to decreased susceptibility to TB.

"The protective power of CXCR5 points us in a novel direction for future management of TB," Dr. Khader said. "These findings have powerful implications for the development of vaccines to prevent infection."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Samantha R. Slight, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Radha Gopal, Yinyao Lin, Beth A. Fallert Junecko, Smriti Mehra, Moises Selman, Enrique Becerril-Villanueva, Javier Baquera-Heredia, Lenin Pavon, Deepak Kaushal, Todd A. Reinhart, Troy D. Randall, Shabaana A. Khader. CXCR5 T helper cells mediate protective immunity against tuberculosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013; DOI: 10.1172/JCI65728

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Molecule that polices TB lung infection discovered: Could lead to vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102140358.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2013, January 2). Molecule that polices TB lung infection discovered: Could lead to vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102140358.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Molecule that polices TB lung infection discovered: Could lead to vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102140358.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. 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