SCIENCE NEWS: IMMUNE CELLS ARE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED BY A RECENT FINDING.

IMMUNE CELLS ARE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED BY A RECENT FINDING. WHEN CANCER CELLS SPREAD TO NEW TISSUE, THEY DO IT BY AN ODD PROCESS. A FEW IMMUNE CELLS ARE UNDOUBTEDLY KEPT ON THEIR TOES BY THE SAME MECHANISM. THE OUTCOME OF A RECENT STUDY CONDUCTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF BONN IS THIS. 

THE STUDY INDICATES THAT SPECIFIC STRUCTURES, SUCH AS CENTRIOLES, MULTIPLY. THEY CAN TRAVEL MORE QUICKLY TO THE LYMPH NODES, WHERE THEY ACTIVATE ADDITIONAL IMMUNE CELLS, BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLER FOR THEM TO MAINTAIN THEIR ROUTE. THE JOURNAL OF CELL BIOLOGY HAS OFFICIALLY PUBLISHED THE FINDINGS.

OVERVIEW OF IMMUNE CELLS ARE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED BY A RECENT FINDING:

IMMUNE CELLS ARE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED
IMMUNE CELLS ARE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED BY A RECENT FINDING

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM DEPENDS ON THE DIVISION OF LABOR, JUST LIKE THE POLICE. DENDRITIC CELLS ARE THE FIRST TO APPEAR. AROUND-THE-CLOCK, THEY LOOK FOR SIGNS OF ANTIGENS, WHICH ARE SEEN AS SUSPICIOUS OUTSIDERS, IN THE TISSUE. 

ONCE THEY REACH THE LYMPHATIC VEINS AND THE DRAINING LYMPH NODES, IF THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL, THEY DASH THERE. THERE, THEY GIVE THEIR RESEARCH TO THE T CELLS, A POTENT SEARCH TEAM. THESE ENDOGENOUS WARRIORS ARE NOW AWARE OF THEIR ENEMY.

BEFORE THE INVADERS INFLICT SIGNIFICANT HARM OR BECOME TOO NUMEROUS, THIS ATTACK IS NECESSARY. DENDRITIC CELLS MUST CONSEQUENTLY MOVE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE TO THE BRIEFING IN THE LYMPH NODE. PROF. DR. EVA KIERMAIER FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF BONN’S LIMES INSTITUTE (LIFE AND MEDICAL SCIENCES) SAYS, “WE HAVE FOUND A MECHANISM THAT AIDS THEM IN ACHIEVING THIS.” 

“TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, THEY CREATE MORE CENTROSOMES, A SPECIFIC KIND OF STRUCTURE.” THEY CAN REACH THE LYMPHATIC VEINS FASTER BECAUSE OF THEIR INCREASED ABILITY TO MAINTAIN THEIR DIRECTION.

IMMUNE CELLS ARE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED BY A RECENT FINDING

ESSENTIAL FUNCTION IN CELL DIVISION:

LIKE THE ORGANS IN THE BODY, CENTROSOMES ARE MOLECULAR STRUCTURES CALLED ORGANELLES THAT PERFORM SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS IN CELLS. EVERY HUMAN CELL TYPICALLY HAS EXACTLY ONE CENTROSOME. IT DOUBLES JUST BEFORE CELL DIVISION. 

THE MICROTUBULES, A COLLECTION OF FIBRES, ARE STRETCHED BETWEEN THE TWO COPIES AS THEY MOVE TO THE CELL’S OPPOSITE POLES. DURING DIVISION, THEY PULL APART THE CHROMOSOMES, WHICH HAVE ALSO DOUBLED. THUS, ONE OF THE TWO CENTROSOMES AND THE ENTIRE SET OF GENETIC MATERIAL ARE TRANSFERRED TO EACH OF THE RESULTANT DAUGHTER CELLS.

BUT, SAYS KIERMAIER, WHO WAS BROUGHT TO THE RHINE FROM LOWER AUSTRIA (IST AUSTRIA, KLOSTERNEUBURG) IN 2017 BY THE STATE OF NORTH RHINE-RETURNEE WESTPHALIA’S PROGRAM, “CENTROSOMES ARE ALSO ESSENTIAL FOR STRUCTURING THE CYTOSKELETON DURING CELL MIGRATION.” THIS REFERS TO STRUCTURAL PROTEINS THAT RESEMBLE FIBRES AND GIVE THE CELL ITS STRUCTURE AND STABILITY. THE POSITION OF A CELL’S “FRONT” AND “BACK” IS ALSO DETERMINED BY THE CYTOSKELETON. AND THAT, IN TURN, HAS AN IMPACT ON ITS MOTION. 

ANN-KATHRIN WEIER EXPLAINS, “WE HAVE NOW BEEN ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE THAT DENDRITIC CELLS PRODUCE SEVERAL CENTROSOMES AS SOON AS THEY COME INTO CONTACT WITH AN ANTIGEN.” TOGETHER WITH HER COLLEAGUE MIRKA HOMRICH, THE PHD CANDIDATE AT THE LIMES INSTITUTE IS THE PUBLICATION’S FIRST AUTHOR. BOTH PEOPLE CONTRIBUTED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE EXPERIMENTS.

KEEPING ON THE PATH FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME TO GET THERE FASTER:

DENDRITIC CELLS FACE A CHALLENGE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW THE LOCATION OF THE NEXT LYMPHATIC CONDUIT THAT WILL TAKE THEM TO THE LYMPH NODE. THEY CONDUCT THEIR SEARCH USING THE “TRIAL AND ERROR” METHOD, RUNNING IN ONE DIRECTION FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE CHANGING IT IF THEY HAVE NOT YET COME UPON A VESSEL. ACCORDING TO MIRKA HOMRICH, THE MORE CENTROSOMES AN ORGANISM HAS, THE LONGER IT STAYS ON COURSE BEFORE CHANGING ITS SEARCH STRATEGY. 

IN COMPUTER SIMULATIONS, “WE WERE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THIS PERMITS THEM TO DISCOVER THE LYMPHATIC VESSELS MUCH MORE QUICKLY THAN THEY WOULD NORMALLY.” CENTROSOMES MULTIPLY THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS, ADJUSTING THEIR TENACITY JUST ENOUGH SO THAT THEY DON’T ADHERE TO THEIR COURSE TOO RIGIDLY. THEY WOULD BE MORE LIKELY TO BECOME LOST AND GET LOST FULLY AS A RESULT.

PRIOR TO THIS WORK, THE MECHANISM IN HEALTHY CELLS WAS COMPLETELY UNKNOWN. IT WAS THOUGHT THAT CANCER CELLS WOULD USE IT TO CREATE METASTASES. THE EXTRA CENTROSOMES MUST NOT, HOWEVER, BE DISPERSED RANDOMLY ACROSS THE CELLS. OTHERWISE, THEY WOULD SERIOUSLY INTERFERE WITH PROCESSES LIKE CELL DIVISION.

 AS A RESULT, THE ORGANELLES CONCENTRATE AT A SINGLE LOCATION IN BOTH TUMOR AND DENDRITIC CELLS. ACCORDING TO KIERMAIER, WHO IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BONN’S IMMUNOSENSATION2 CLUSTER OF EXCELLENCE AND THE TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREA “LIFE AND HEALTH,” “THERE ARE NOW SUBSTANCES THAT DISTURB THIS CLUSTERING OF CENTROSOMES.” BECAUSE OF THIS, THE CANCER CELLS CAN NO LONGER DIVIDE PROPERLY AND EVENTUALLY DIE.

SINCE THE CENTROSOMES ALSO CONGREGATE THERE, IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT THESE COMPOUNDS AFFECT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. SHE STATES, “WE’VE EVALUATED A NUMBER OF THESE DRUGS IN CELL CULTURES AND WE HAVE DISCOVERED EVIDENCE THAT THEY MAY DRASTICALLY REDUCE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM’S EFFICACY.” SAYS THE RESEARCHER.

 IF CLINICAL TRIALS SUPPORT THAT, IT WOULD BE BAD NEWS BECAUSE USING THE ACTIVE CHEMICALS TO TREAT CANCER COULD HAVE SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE EFFECTS.

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SCIENCE NEWS: IMMUNE CELLS ARE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED BY A RECENT FINDING.

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