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T-cell discovery highlights importance of immune system

T-cell discovery highlights importance of immune system
21st November 2011

A new study describing how immune system T-cells alternatively discourage and encourage stem cells to regrow bone and tissue has highlighted the importance of the transplant recipient's immune system in stem cell regeneration.

Examining how mice with genetic bone defects respond to infusions of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, researchers at the Centre for Craniofacial Molecular Biology discovered how different types of T-cells affect the re-growth of bone and tissue.

Professor Songtao Shi, corresponding author for the study, stated: "Normally, T-cells protect us from infection but they can block healthy regeneration from happening."

The discovery highlights the importance of investigating the immune system when studying stem cell regeneration.

T-cells have also been found to lose effectiveness and become lazy over time in certain individuals, leading to type one diabetes.

Regulatory CD4+T-cells are essential for controlling inflammatory responses to microbes, tumours, allergens and transplants.

As T-cell functionality declines, autoimmune responses go unchecked.

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