Antiviral program is activated but mitochondrial DNA

Avatar By Neil Raymond | 2 years ago

Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) revealed how defense mechanisms of the immune system work during the early stages of its response to viruses and bacteria, according to Medical News Daily. The research findings were published in “Nature Communications” and talked about the understanding of the cellular processes initiated at early stages and explain how the diverse cell populations of the immune system communicate to develop an effective response against bacterua and viruses.

The CNIC researchers have shown that mitochondrial DNA contained in nanovesicles triggers a state of alertness in recipient cells that activates an antiviral genetic program in the body. These nanovesicles, known as exosomes, are produced by T lymphocytes and taken up by dendritic cells through intercellular contacts.

Research to date has focused on how the immune synapse activates signaling routes in the T cell, unfortunately the identity and effects of the signals received by dendritic cells have received relatively little attention.

The present study was performed by the group led by Professor Francisco Sánchez-Madrid, principal investigator of the Intercellular Communication laboratory at the CNIC, head of the Immunology Service at the Hospital la Princesa, and Professor of Immunology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. In previous work, this group demonstrated that T cells can transfer exosomes to dendritic cells during the formation of the immune synapse.

In the new study, the research team describes how these nanovesicles “transport DNA and proteins of mitochondrial origin,” explained Prof. Sánchez Madrid. It will be interesting to see what the ultimate result of this study will be.