stem cells are protect from viruses inform the development of therapies for use in medicine; therefore research suggests. An immune system is a collection of biological processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumour cells. Because It detects a wide variety of agents; therefore from viruses to parasitic worms; and needs to distinguish them from the organism’s own healthy cells and tissues in order to function properly.
Collection of biological processes
Detection is complicate as pathogens are evolve rapidly; producing adaptations that avoid the immune system and allow the pathogens to successfully infect their hosts. Because To survive this challenge; multiple mechanisms evolved that recognize and neutralize pathogens. Even simple unicellular organisms such as bacteria possess enzyme systems that protect against viral infections.
Other basic immune mechanisms evolved in ancient eukaryotes and remain in their modern descendants; such as plants, fish, reptiles, and insects. These mechanisms include antimicrobial peptides called defensins; phagocytosis; and the complement system. research aimed at boosting the immune response of stem cells early stage cells with the potential to become specialised tissues for use in treating disease or damaged tissues.
Use in treating disease
The research identified ways to switch on a key part of the immune system that protects against viruses in stem cells; known as the interferon response. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh studied stem cells from mouse embryos to understand how stem cells can develop resistance to viruses; before they become specialised cells.
The team discovered a protein known as mitochondrial antiviral signalling protein (MAVS) that switches on this immune response in stem cells. A small molecule know as miR-673—was found to regulate when the MAVS protein is turn on and off. When miR-673 is remove from in stem cells in the lab; production of the MAVS protein is restore; switching on the anti-viral response.
The interferon response
The same mechanism is likely to operate in humans, researchers say. This antiviral response may be absent from embryonic stem cells as it can disrupt development. Researchers hope that their findings will make the use of stem cells more efficient; to one day be given to patients to replace cells lost or damaged by degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or diabetes. The study, published in eLife, was funded by Wellcome.
Jeroen Witteveldt, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, who took part in the study; said: “Unveiling how this crucial antiviral mechanism is switched off; and methods to switch this back on in a controlled manner, could make stem cell therapies much more efficient.”