Many people have at some point thought of, or actually donated their blood for medical use by those most in need. Most people are familiar with the use of donated blood in emergency situations to replace trauma-related blood loss. However, donated blood has many uses including for medical research and planned therapies. Research using donated blood supports crucial development of immunotherapies for different types of cancer, auto-immune diseases, rare diseases and conditions, and more.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of conditions characterized by severe chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. The most common of these are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Although the intestinal microbiota has protective and other beneficial functions, they are also thought to play a role in the development of IBD. One way this may occur is through the dysregulation of the management of the bacteria in the intestine.
Dendritic cells are mononuclear cells that are an invaluable part of the immune response. These are antigen presenting cells that process invading pathogens (disease-causing material) and present them to T cells for further response. Different dendritic cell subtypes have been and continue to be identified with varying functions. Nonetheless, the total number of dendritic cell subtypes and the interrelationships between them are unknown.
Patients with obesity who undergo knee or hip arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery) are at an increased risk for post-operative complications, including problems with wound healing. Those who are obese tend to have higher cytokine levels (cell signaling molecules) indicating the existence low-grade inflammation in this population. To understand the connection between obesity and immune status as it relates to post-operative wound healing, scientists conducted research to determine the status of immune cells and cytokines in those undergoing arthroplasty.
Chediak–Higashi syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation resulting in enlargement of lysosomes (cell organelles containing digestive enzymes). People with Chediak–Higashi syndrome have albinism of the eyes and skin and can develop a life-threatening overactive inflammatory syndrome. The cytotoxic function of natural killer (NK) and cytotoxic T cells is impaired in patients with Chediak–Higashi syndrome. Given the devastating nature of the inflammatory syndrome that can develop, there is a clinical benefit and need for the ability to predict the clinical outcome of patients with Chediak–Higashi syndrome.