Rapid-response Immune Cells are Fully Prepared Before Invasion Strikes
According to a study by the NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal and Skin Diseases published in the journal Cell, found that the development of immune cells, called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), gradually prepares these cells for rapid response to infection.
The researchers explain that our immune system has two arms – innate and adaptive. ILCs are innate immune cells that respond quickly against pathogens at the first site of invasion. They release small molecules called cytokines that transmit signals to fight infection. The adaptive immune response kicks in more slowly to build an army of cells that can target specific offending pathogens. One example of the adaptive immune response is T cells that became famous in the 1980s with the emergence of HIV and AIDS.
Despite their importance in the immune system, ILCs have received relatively little attention.
“ILCs and T cells appear very different, but in the end, the way they control key responses is amazingly similar,” said one researcher. “ILCs were discovered less than a decade ago, but the parallels between them and T cells will enable us to more quickly understand how they work and to develop ways to enhance or inhibit their function in treating a variety of immune and inflammatory diseases.”
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.