Tuesday, 18 October 2016 11:48

In vitro: Important immune reaction discovered Featured

A team of scientists from the Cluster of Excellence for inflammation research at the Kiel University has decrypted an important mechanism with in vitro methods. Now they are able to explain which cell type produces the major inflammatory messenger IL-9 on a large scale. IL-9 plays an important role in allergic reactions or during the anti-tumor activity of the immune system.

Led by the immunologist Prof. Dieter Kabelitz, the researchers discovered that the so-called gamma delta-T lymphocytes are responsible in a much greater extent for the production of IL-9 than the previously known CD4 cells.

Although, the gamma/delta-T lymphocytes are not so frequently in the blood, they build up to 30 percent of all immunecells in the intestinal mucosa and the lung.

If metabolism of the cells is altered by stress, an immune response involving IL-9 is initiated. These immune cell type is important for the monitoring of the immune system during local inflammations, infections or during a malignant degeneration of cells.

The original publication has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS).
Peters, C, Häsler, R, Wesch, D & Kabelitz, D (2016): Human Vd2 T cells are a major source of Interleukin-9. PNAS.