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New research reveals the role of lung cells in lung immunity

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Pulmonary immunity is essential to combat all lung diseases including COVID-19, pneumonia, lung cancer, asthma and COPD. Although lung immunity differs from systemic immunity, which is the usual focus of biomedical research and intervention, little is known about the factors that influence the establishment and regulation of lung immunity. New research now reveals the role of lung cells in inducing the immune system.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that immune control of the lungs is achieved by the cells that line the airspace. Epithelial cellsUses MHC-II, a molecule that faces special immunity.This epithelial MHC-II is essential for highly specialized localization and scripting Immune cells They are called resident memory T (TRM) lymphocytes in the lungs.

“Epithelial cells lung While MHC-II is understood to connect immune cells to immune cells, the discovery that MHC-II tells TRM cells where and what to do in lung epithelial cells is novel and unexpected. is. “The corresponding author, Joseph Mizgerd, ScD, a professor of medicine, microbiology, and biochemistry at BUSM, explained.

By analyzing lung epithelial cells from human and experimental models, researchers learned that all of the different types of epithelial cells examined express MHC-II and increase its expression during infection. The only known function of MHC-II is to educate immune cells called CD4 + T cells.of Cell cultureLung epithelial cells can use this molecule to tell T cells what to do, so they can respond appropriately to microorganisms that can cause infection. Blocking only MHC-II in lung epithelial cells results in abnormal numbers, types, and locations of CD4 + T cells in the lung, and these specific lung cells, not blood, are involved in the induction of lung immunity. It became clear.

“Our study shows that lung epithelial cells resemble gatekeepers who are tasked with properly directing the location of CD4 TRM cell outposts and their ability to fight future infections. TRM cells Beyond its protective role in pneumonia, it plays an important role in the fight against cancer. It causes asthma and our findings have a major impact on the understanding, prevention and treatment of multiple lung diseases. ” Said Dr. Anukul Shenoy, lead author and doctoral researcher at BUSM’s Lung Center.

In addition to showing that lung epithelial cells are organized using MHC-II Immune system In the lungs, this study also reveals two unexpected findings that resulted from the main findings.First, other immune-facing molecules depend on MHC-II. Cell surface They can interact with other cells to provide immune guidance. Second, the absence of MHC-II in lung epithelial cells alters the local immune system, reflecting the rare but serious consequences of immune-targeted cancer treatment (“checkpoint inhibitor treatment”). increase. “This revealed that the molecular targets for these cancer treatments are one of the molecules that depend on MHC-II to reach the cell surface, and the harmful side effects of checkpoint inhibitor therapy on immune cells. It has been suggested that it may be due to inhibition. Guidance by lung epithelial cells. “

Researchers believe that interventions (both preventative and therapeutic) can be designed to harness the ability of lung epithelial cells to regulate lung immunity. “Then the patient’s own lung epithelial cells can be used to turn on the protective role of TRM. cell During pneumonia and / or cancer, during asthma, and while being able to block their pathological role as needed, “Shenoy said.

These findings will be displayed online in the journal Nature Communications..


Antibodies produced in the lungs can prevent the aggravation of respiratory infections


For more information:
Antigen presentation by lung epithelial cells directs the function of CD4 + TRM cells and regulates barrier immunity. Nature Communications (2021).

Quote: A new study was obtained from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-reveals-lung-cell-roles-pulmonary.html on October 5, 2021 for lung immunity (October 5, 2021). ) Clarifies the role of lung cells

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New research reveals the role of lung cells in lung immunity

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