Medindia

X

Gut Bacteria may Hinder Smooth Functioning of T Cells

by Kathy Jones on  September 16, 2014 at 8:07 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland claim that leaky intestines may cripple bacteria-fighting immune cells in patients with a rare hereditary disease.
 Gut Bacteria may Hinder Smooth Functioning of T Cells
Gut Bacteria may Hinder Smooth Functioning of T Cells
Advertisement

The study, published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine on September 15, may explain why these patients suffer from recurrent bacterial infections.

Advertisement
Patients with a disease called common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) suffer from recurrent bacterial infections as a result of faulty immune cells. But despite these immune defects, CVID patients rarely contract viral infections. New data from Matthieu Perreau and colleagues in Lausanne now show that bacteria-fighting T cells in the blood of these patients showed signs of exhaustion (evident by their expression of an inhibitory protein called PD-1), but virus-fighting T cells were unscathed.

T cell exhaustion in the patients was associated with increased gut bacteria in the bloodstream, possibly due to the lack of protective antibodies that normally clear these wayward bugs. As a result, bacteria-specific T cells may be repetitively stimulated, a scenario known to trigger exhaustion. Indeed, the tired T cells from CVID patients could be rejuvenated by blocking PD-1. And in patients who received infusions of antibodies ("IVIG" therapy), often used to treat symptoms of CVID, PD-1 expression on T cells waned along with the levels of bacteria in the blood.

The data suggest that "immunotherapy" strategies aimed at perking up T cells—already in use in cancer patients—may protect CVID patients against recurrent bacterial infection.
Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All