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Genetics

21 December 2012

First ever 'atlas' of T cells in human body

By analyzing tissues harvested from organ donors, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have created the first ever "atlas" of immune cells in the human body.

By analysing tissues harvested from organ donors, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have created the first ever "atlas" of immune cells in the human body. Their results provide a unique view of the distribution and function of T lymphocytes in healthy individuals. In addition, the findings represent a major step toward development of new strategies for creating vaccines and immunotherapies. The study was published today in the online edition of the journal Immunity.

The researchers also discovered a receptor that is expressed on the surface of "tissue-resident" T cells but not on circulating T cells. Using this marker, Dr Farber and her colleagues established that the blood is its own compartment. "In other words, T cells found in circulation are not the same as T cells in the tissues," said Dr Farber.

 

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