CD11b dendritic cells (complement receptor 3 (CR3)–expressing dendritic cells), macrophages, and neutrophils are special phagocytes that have important roles in the body’s first line of defense against invading organisms. The bacteria that cause whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, has many factors that allow it to infect a host. These include adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA), pertussis toxin, adhesion proteins, and a host of others. The CyaA toxin of Bordetella pertussis can cause the production of high levels of 3,5-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in dendritic and other myeloid immune cells (eg., macrophages and neutrophils). The CyaA-induced cAMP signaling disrupts the mechanisms used by these cells to kill invading bacteria.
DNA vaccines are viable candidates for global use due to the speed and cost-effectiveness of their development, safety profile, and stability. Clinical trial results for the treatment of human papillomavirus has already demonstrated the effectiveness of a DNA vaccine to clear the virus and regress HPV-induced neoplasia in humans. Other studies show that DNA vaccines that induce necrosis of vaccine-targeted cells provide greater T-cell immunity than conventional DNA vaccines. In this case, expression of a truncated perforin (PRF) that contains a 12 amino acid deletion (12del PRF) at the C-terminus results in cell death.
Fever in humans and animals has been shown to generally stimulate the immune system, but its ability to stimulate a specific immune reaction is not clear. Brief exposure to increased temperatures has been shown to affect the immunostimulatory function of dendritic cells. Better understanding of the immune response to fever can contribute to better management of fever in patients.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in people over 50 years of age. It is related to damage to the macula, a region of light-sensing cells that provide central vision. The mechanism of AMD development is not well known, but there are two forms of the disorder, exudative and dry forms. The exudative form is treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor; however, there is no effective and approved treatment for the dry form.
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that progressively and severely impairs memory and thinking capacity. The impact of this disorder is severe and eventually makes daily tasks and activities nearly impossible. The ability to diagnose Alzheirmer’s disease early can help healthcare professionals and caregivers manage the onset of symptoms. A non-invasive and reliable biomarker would be valuable to help to diagnose the disease long before symptoms begin.