Immunity: T cells and acetylcholine (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 09, 2019, 19:22 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

Acetylcholine as a signal for T cell immune reaction:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190207142153.htm

"During infection, T-cells of the immune system synthesize acetylcholine, explains Dr. Mak. In the brain, acetylcholine functions as a neurotransmitter and controls learning and memory. In the immune system, T-cells making this classical brain chemical are able to jump out of the blood circulation and take action in the tissues to fight infection.

"First author Maureen Cox summarizes the study findings this way: "The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is produced by T-cells during viral infection to facilitate their entry into tissues under attack, where these cells then kill the virus-infected cells."

***

"'We now have absolute genetic proof that immune cells need this brain chemical," says Dr. Mak. "We believe it's an entirely new lens though which to look at numerous diseases including cancer, viral infections and autoimmune conditions."

"With respect to cancers, a tumour is often surrounded by immune cells that can't break through its defences, perhaps because the immune cells are not producing sufficient amounts of acetylcholine. In this case, strategies to increase immune neurotransmitter production may be beneficial. The flip side is at play in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis, where the autoimmune T-cells attack self tissues. In this case, a reduction in neurotransmitter signaling may quell the hordes of immune cells invading joints or the central nervous system.

"The research builds on the findings of a 2011 study also published in Science in which Dr. Mak participated. That study demonstrated for the first time that immune cells can make acetylcholine.

"Dr. Mak says the next research goal is to identify and target the key receptors that facilitate the signalling crosstalk between immune cells and diseased organs."

Comment: Acetylcholine can be produced by more than one cell type, probably following the same instructions as in neurons, which means the T cells must have same receptors as neurons.


Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum