How white blood cells detect, destroy invaders
Washington: Scientists have identified a molecular receptor on the surface of white blood cells (WBCs) that is instrumental in destroying invading fungi.
The receptor Dectin-1 detects fungi and instructs WBCs whether to devour the invading pathogens or not, says David Underhill, associate professor in immunobiology at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles.
The study is important because it moves scientists one step closer to understanding the mysteries of how our bodies mount an immune response to fight disease, reports the journal Nature.
In early stages of infection, WBCs patrol the body looking for invading pathogens. Dectin-1 recognises specific components of fungal cell walls, and alerts or "switches on" the immune cells to prepare to fight the infection, according to a Cedars-Sinai statement.
"Our lab has been studying Dectin-1, which directs white blood cells to eat and kill the fungi that they encounter directly, but to ignore soluble material sloughed off the fungal surface which does not pose an immediate threat," study co-author Helen Goodridge said.
"This is important because...anti-microbial defence responses are energy-intensive and destructive, and should only be used when absolutely necessary," Goodridge added.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU - Part II
- Watch: How students at JNU showcased anti-India spirit! - Part II
- DNA: Gravitational waves detected, proving Einstein right!
- Watch: Panel discussion on students turning traitors at JNU - Part IV
- Ex-Army officers threaten to return JNU degrees against 'anti-national' activities in campus
- Delhi Police issues alert over alleged Hafiz Saeed's tweet backing 'pro-Pak' JNU protesters
- Really? Is this why Deepika Padukone not open about her alleged relationship with Ranveer Singh?
- Congress leader from Gujarat conspired to implicate Narendra Modi in Ishrat Jahan case: Ex-IB officer
- LeT chief Lakhvi`s son was gunned down by Indian troops in Kashmir: David Headley