From MedicalXpress: “Dendritic cells ‘divide and conquer’ to elude viral infection while promoting immunity”

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Infographic depicting a “division of labor” among DC subsets, which protects the body during viral infection. Credit: Carla Schaffer / AAAS

A research team led by Jackson Laboratory (JAX) Professor Karolina Palucka, M.D., Ph.D., in collaboration with a research team at Institut Curie in France led by Dr. Nicolas Manel, have addressed a long-standing puzzle of immunology: How do dendritic cells (DCs) do their job of promoting adaptive immunity to a virus while avoiding getting infected themselves?

DCs are the “beat cops” of the immune system. They round up viral antigens (proteins specific to a given virus), and present them to the receptors on T cells, which in turn promote an adaptive immune response to that virus. But along the way the DCs are vulnerable to infection by the virus, presumably compromising their protective powers.

The research team reports in Science Immunology that two subsets of DCs work together to activate T cells against a virus: one dies and produces the viral antigens that the other then sweeps up and presents to the T cells.

“We show that one DC subset (CD1c+ DCs) is susceptible to viral infection and produces viral fragments,” Palucka says. “Another DC subset (CD141+ DCs) uses these viral fragments to activate T cells against the virus. This paradigm may allow a better understanding of the induction of protective immunity against viruses and live-attenuated vaccines against viral infections.”

Silvin et al. found that a molecule called RAB15 can help limit viral infection in DCs, and examined its localization in human monocytes growing in culture. Credit: Silvin et al., Sci. Immunol. 2, eaai8071

CD141+ DCs are dependent on the productive infection of “bystander” CD1c+ DCs, to effectively activate T cells. Credit: Silvin et al., Sci. Immunol. 2, eaai8071

See the full article here .

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