Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Cross-Country Runabouts - Immune Cells on the Move

16.11.2009
In order to effectively fight pathogens, even at remote areas of the human body, immune cells have to move quickly and in a flexible manner.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, have now deciphered the mechanism that illustrates how these mobile cells move on diverse surfaces.

"Similar to a car, these cells have an engine, a clutch and wheels which provide the necessary friction," explains Michael Sixt, a research group leader at the MPI of Biochemistry. The results, which were developed in cooperation with colleagues from the MPI for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Germany, have now been published in Nature Cell Biology.

White blood cells, also called leukocytes or immune cells, fight infections in the human body in many different ways. As defence cells, they are able to invade infected tissues, detect and eliminate pathogens. Also foreign structures and wreckage of the body's own cells are disposed with their help. To cope with that task, they move a hundred fold faster than other cell types. Thereby, immune cells follow certain attractants which are released by the body's own cells or the pathogens.

Energy Transfer on a Molecular Level
Cells have to generate the necessary energy from the inside in order to move forward. This task is carried out by the cytoskeleton, a network of proteins which stretches through the cell's complete interior. It can expand and form finger-like extensions and retract them likewise.

However, this deformation is not enough to make a cell move. "Similar to a car, the energy has to be transferred on the street," illuminates Dr. Sixt. "We need a clutch and wheels." For this purpose, every cell carries special cell anchors on their surface: the integrins. These proteins span the envelope of the cells and are directly connected to the cell's cytoskeleton. On the outside, these anchors can stick to other cells and tissues and thus, form a connection to the outside world. "The connection between the cytoskeleton and the integrin matches the clutch," says Dr. Sixt, "the connection between the integrin and the outside world corresponds to the grasp of the wheels."

Immune Cells are Cross-Country
In doing so, immune cells are not rigid and inflexible. According to the scientists, they are able to adjust to every possible underground. "Our analysis has shown that leukocytes always move with the same speed - no matter whether they migrate over a slippery or rough substrate," Dr. Sixt points out. That is possible due to the tight interaction between motor, clutch and wheels. When the cell's anchors do not grip properly, the cell increases the speed of its engine - the cytoskeleton deforms faster. Thus, the speed of the cell stays the same. Leukocytes are also able to overcome locally occurring unevenness. Should the immune cell move with one half over slippery and with the other on rough ground, the cytoskeleton adjusts locally - similar to a differential gear. "Thus, the direction of movement is defined only by the attractant," explains the physician. "And this attractant is just as little keeping with tissue frontiers and unevenness like the leukocyte."

Original Publication:

J. Renkawitz, K. Schumann, M. Weber, T. Lämmermann, H. Pflicke, M. Piel, J. Polleux, J. P. Spatz, M. Sixt: Adaptive force transmission in amoeboid cell migration. Nature Cell Biology, November 15, 2009.

Contact:

Dr. Michael Sixt
Leukocyte Migration
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Am Klopferspitz 18
82152 Martinsried
sixt@biochem.mpg.de
Anja Konschak
Public Relations
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
An Klopferspitz 18
82152 Martinsried
Phone ++49/89-8578-2824
E-mail: konschak@biochem.mpg.de

Anja Konschak | idw
Further information:
http://www.biochem.mpg.de
http://www.biochem.mpg.de/sixt/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Insights into closed enzymes
26.06.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Hyperspektrale Bildgebung zur 100%-Inspektion von Oberflächen und Schichten

„Mehr sehen, als das Auge erlaubt“, das ist ein Anspruch, dem die Hyperspektrale Bildgebung (HSI) gerecht wird. Die neue Kameratechnologie ermöglicht, Licht nicht nur ortsaufgelöst, sondern simultan auch spektral aufgelöst aufzuzeichnen. Das bedeutet, dass zur Informationsgewinnung nicht nur herkömmlich drei spektrale Bänder (RGB), sondern bis zu eintausend genutzt werden.

Das Fraunhofer IWS Dresden entwickelt eine integrierte HSI-Lösung, die das Potenzial der HSI-Technologie in zuverlässige Hard- und Software überführt und für...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Klima-Satellit: Mit robuster Lasertechnik Methan auf der Spur

Hitzewellen in der Arktis, längere Vegetationsperioden in Europa, schwere Überschwemmungen in Westafrika – mit Hilfe des deutsch-französischen Satelliten MERLIN wollen Wissenschaftler ab 2021 die Emissionen des Treibhausgases Methan auf der Erde erforschen. Möglich macht das ein neues robustes Lasersystem des Fraunhofer-Instituts für Lasertechnologie ILT in Aachen, das eine bisher unerreichte Messgenauigkeit erzielt.

Methan entsteht unter anderem bei Fäulnisprozessen. Es ist 25-mal wirksamer als das klimaschädliche Kohlendioxid, kommt in der Erdatmosphäre aber lange nicht...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Future Security Conference 2017 in Nürnberg - Call for Papers bis 31. Juli

26.06.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Von Batterieforschung bis Optoelektronik

23.06.2017 | Veranstaltungen

10. HDT-Tagung: Elektrische Antriebstechnologie für Hybrid- und Elektrofahrzeuge

22.06.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Hyperspektrale Bildgebung zur 100%-Inspektion von Oberflächen und Schichten

26.06.2017 | Messenachrichten

Sind Zeitreisen physikalisch möglich?

26.06.2017 | Physik Astronomie

Auf der Suche nach Hochtechnologiemetallen in Norddeutschland

26.06.2017 | Geowissenschaften