Aussie scientists film internal workings of immune systemDecember 4th, 2008 - 1:07 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Dec 4 (ANI): With the help of multi-photon microscopy, scientists from Sydney’’s Centenary Institute have successfully filmed the working of the bodys immune system.
It would provide critical insights for future vaccine design and could potentially improve current vaccinations.
The research team led by Professor Wolfgang Weninger, head of the Immune Imaging program at the Centenary Institute has filmed an immune cell becoming infected by a parasite, and followed the infection as it begins to spread throughout the body.
“Using multi-photon microscopy, we studied dendritic cells in the skin. Under normal conditions we found the cells in the epidermis (top layer) were static, whereas in the dermis (second layer) they were very active, moving around as though seeking out pathogens,” said Professor Weninger.
“Once we established this, it was fascinating to introduce the Leishmania infection and watch as the parasite was picked up by the cells and the process by which it began to spread throughout the body,” he added.
Leishmaniasis is a disease that causes skin sores and can affect internal organs such as the spleen, liver and bone marrow. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
“We now have a general idea of how pathogens are recognised by the immune system and which cells are involved,” said Weninger.
“This means we can look at identifying the molecules responsible for the uptake of Leishmania infection and these molecules could become vaccine targets. Additionally, we can investigate the immune responses of other infections which could lead to better vaccines.”
“On the other side of the story, scientists can now visualise the pathway of current vaccines in the immune system, providing greater understanding and the potential for refining current interventions against disease,” he added.
Centenary Institute Executive Director, Professor Mathew Vadas dubbed the multi-photon microscope used to film this immune process as the Hubble telescope of medical research.
“The Hubble allowed the universe to be seen with absolute clarity, which wasn”t before possible from earth.
“This is exactly the same as multi-photon microscopy it provides a unique and innovative view of cells, unveiling a whole new understanding of how immune processes work,” he said.
The study is published in PLoS Pathogens. (ANI)
- Scientists film live workings of immune system - Dec 04, 2008
- Scientists locate malaria parasites' Achilles heal - Apr 22, 2012
- Scientists isolate key to malaria's 'invisibility cloak' - Jan 19, 2012
- Cancer drugs may help battle parasite Leishmania - Jul 17, 2010
- Scientists closer to developing anti-malaria shot - Aug 06, 2012
- Vaccine-delivering nanoparticles may help fight HIV, malaria - Feb 23, 2011
- Discovery could lead to 'next-gen' vaccines - Apr 08, 2012
- Scientists discover E coli's Achilles heel - Jul 16, 2012
- 'Promiscuous parasites' can make you reckless - Sep 22, 2011
- Parasites' quirky trick to persuade immune cells to invite them in for dinner - Aug 21, 2009
- Herpes vaccine edges closer to reality - Jun 16, 2010
- Scientists track how immune cells intercepting parasites - Dec 11, 2008
- Re-engineering mosquito's immunity to block malaria - Dec 29, 2011
- Breakthrough may pave way for new malaria drugs - Nov 27, 2011
- Boffins prefer needles to tablets for global vaccinations - Apr 27, 2010
Tags: bone marrow, centenary institute, critical insights, dendritic cells, director professor, general idea, immune cell, immune responses, internal organs, leishmania infection, multi photon microscopy, parasite, photon microscope, professor wolfgang, skin sores, vaccine design, vaccine targets, vaccines, vadas, weninger