Compound found to trigger innate immunity against viruses A drug-like molecule can activate innate immunity and induce genes to control infection in a range of RNA viruses, including West Nile, dengue, hepatitis C, influenza A, respiratory syncytial, Nipah, Lassa and Ebola.
Neanderthal genes gave modern humans an immunity boost, allergies When modern humans met Neanderthals in Europe and the two species began interbreeding many thousands of years ago, the exchange left humans with gene variations that have increased the ability of those who carry them to ward off infection. This inheritance from Neanderthals may have also left some people more prone to allergies.Life-extending hormone bolsters the body's immune function A hormone that extends lifespan in mice by 40% is produced by specialized cells in the thymus gland, according to a new study. The team also found that increasing the levels of this hormone, called FGF21, protects against the loss of immune function that comes with age.
Novel mechanism that helps activated dendritic cells to initiate effective immunity Phagocytosis represents a critical innate barrier against infection and serves the clearance of extracellular microbes, infected and dying cells. Different immune cells use phagocytosis for microbial killing, but in dendritic cells (DCs) it mainly serves the processing and presentation of specific molecules (antigens) that are able to alert the immune system and to initiate immune responses. Researchers describe now a mechanism of how the fusion between phagosomes and lysosomes influences the presentation of antigens on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) I molecules to cytotoxic T cells, a process called cross-presentation