What is it about?

Sentinel cells that patrol the barrier tissues of the body sense the earliest invasion by a pathogen. They are then thought to instruct the rest of the immune system on what appropriate response is required to repel this invader. The instruction is via soluble factors called cytokines which reach the nearest immune outposts and drives multiple lymphocytes along a desired trajectory of action. This paper suggests that instead of making this decision unilaterally, these early sentinel cells make an inert part of a potentially active cytokine. The 2nd part comes from local tissues and the combination controls lymphocyte trajectories. This offers a new molecular pathway for two different cells (the sentinel and the local tissue) to control the fate of an eventual immune response.

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Why is it important?

In addition to identifying a new mechanism for assembly of a cytokine, it suggests a molecular template for different tissues to collaborate with dendritic cells, the sentinels of the immune system.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The subunits of IL-12, originating from two distinct cells, can functionally synergize to protect against pathogen dissemination in vivo, Cell Reports, October 2021, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109816.
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