Blog | HemaCare

T Cells Receive an Education: Don't Attack Our Friendly Gut Bacteria!

Jul 6, 2015 1:00:31 PM / by Shweta posted in lymphocytes, microbiome, thymus, Basic Research

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New insights reveal how T cells know not to go after our beneficial microbiota

The immune system continuously protects the body from attack by foreign intruders. T lymphocytes play a crucial role in defending against any pathogen's assault. T cell development takes place in the thymus where these cells undergo "thymic education" and learn how to differentiate between self and foreign invaders. And yet the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract is inhabited with trillions of beneficial commensal bacteria. They help to regulate host nutrient metabolism and immune cell homeostasis, and they also protect from pathogen infection. Surprisingly, T cells learn to ignore beneficial microbiota in the intestine while they immediately try to recognize and eliminate any foreign invader in our body.

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T Cell Immune Response Affected by Aging

May 12, 2014 1:00:18 PM / by Maria posted in aging, lymphocytes, Basic Research

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T lymphocytes, as a component of the immune system, play a vital role in defending our body against intracellular pathogens, such as viruses, intracellular bacteria or parasites. In a previous blog we mentioned that cellular functions can abate with aging and cause the marked reduction in immune system responsiveness.  These changes have been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in the elderly population from infectious diseases[1].

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A Simple Yet Potent Trigger For Stem Cell Pluripotency

Feb 4, 2014 3:00:22 PM / by Maria posted in Assay Development, cellular reprogramming, iPSCs, lymphocytes, somatic cells, Stem Cells, Basic Research

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While generating induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) may have caused researchers some stress over the years, a new finding suggests that putting some stress on their cells instead could make their lives surprisingly easier. It turns out that external stressors like physical damage or low pH can lead a cell to have stem cell properties including pluripotency, making the process of cellular reprogramming faster and more efficient than ever before.

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