After that time, the T cells become activated, separate from the dendritic cells, and migrate away. The study provides a new glimpse into key steps in early immune responses and paves the way for future work on T-cell activation. A photograph and brief video of the interacting cells can be viewed online at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/cgi-shl/newsroom/mm_resources.cfm.
NIAID also funded another group of researchers who used a similar but more powerful type of microscopy to study how immature T cells, which reside in an organ called the thymus, interact with other thymic cells that support their maturation. Ellen Robey, Ph.D., and coworkers at the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University showed that many of the immature T cells moved about extensively and formed both long- and short-term complexes with other cells in the thymus. They found that the length of time immature T cells remained in contact with other thymic cells increased when those thymic cells carried surface proteins that helped the T cells mature. Their study reveals the diversity of interactions that help regulate T-cell development and opens new questions as to when and why the different interactions occur.
In the third paper, researchers from the University of California at Irvine compared T cells and B cells as they moved about within lymph nodes. In a collaborative study directed by Michael Cahalan, Ph.D., and Ian Parker, Ph.D., the scientists studied how t
Contact: Sam Perdue
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases