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Friday, May 15, 2015

Immune System Research: Immune cells can travel for help ♦ Activity of thousands of genes differs from winter to summer ♦ Treatments that stop immune system attacks

Discovery provides insight into development of autoimmunity The action of a gene that regulates the education of T cells has been uncovered by researchers, providing insight into how and why the immune system begins mistaking the body's own tissues for targets.
Finding should enhance treatments that stop immune system attacks An important discovery has been made about an immune cell that is already being used in immunotherapy to treat diseases such as type I diabetes. The work details how regulatory T cells can cure inflammatory diseases,
Seasonal immunity: Activity of thousands of genes differs from winter to summer  Our immune systems vary with the seasons, according to a study that could help explain why certain conditions such as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis are aggravated in winter whilst people tend to be healthier in the summer. The study shows that the activity of almost a quarter of our genes (5,136 out of 22,822 genes tested) differs according to the time of year, with some more active in winter and others more active in summer. This seasonality also affects our immune cells and the composition of our blood and adipose tissue (fat).
Frontline immune cells can travel for help  'Neutrophils' cells that form the bulk of our fast-acting 'innate' immune system behave differently, depending on whether an injury is infected or not, new research shows.

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