How Toxoplasma gondii gets noticed

Jan 19, 2009

Researchers provide insight into how Toxoplasma gondii, a common parasite of people and other animals, triggers an immune response in its host. The report will appear online on January 19th in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

A strong immune response spares T. gondii-infected hosts from deadly infection—an event that may also benefit the parasite, which relies on survival of the host to ensure its own transmission. But how the infected host elicits an immune response isn't completely understood. Like many other parasites, T. gondii resides within specialized vesicles inside infected host cells, but the process by which peptides from the trapped bugs are processed by infected cells and presented to killer T cells is mysterious.

Here, Romina Goldszmid and her colleagues at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda use T. gondii infections in mice to study how portions of the parasitic proteins escape the vesicle in a process known as cross-presentation. They find that the parasite gets noticed by the immune system when the membrane of the bug-containing vesicle fuses to the endoplasmic reticulum—an organelle normally involved in presenting pathogens to T cells—allowing a swap of parasitic peptides.

Source: Rockefeller University

Explore further: Study reveals one reason brain tumors are more common in men

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA-funded X-ray instrument settles interstellar debate

20 minutes ago

New findings from a NASA-funded instrument have resolved a decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky. Thanks to refurbished detectors first flown on a NASA sounding ...

A transistor-like amplifier for single photons

20 minutes ago

Data transmission over long distances usually utilizes optical techniques via glass fibres – this ensures high speed transmission combined with low power dissipation of the signal. For quite some years ...

London mayor expected to say city will rock 5G by 2020

1 hour ago

London mayor Boris Johnson this week will pledge to bring 5G to London in the next six years, reported The Telegraph on Monday. The pledge is part of a more extensive plan for London's infrastructure between ...

Recommended for you

Clues to curbing obesity found in neuronal 'sweet spot'

10 hours ago

Preventing weight gain, obesity, and ultimately diabetes could be as simple as keeping a nuclear receptor from being activated in a small part of the brain, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine ...

Small RNAs in blood may reveal heart injury

20 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Like clues to a crime, specific molecules in the body can hint at exposure to toxins, infectious agents or even trauma, and so help doctors determine whether and how to treat a patient. ...

User comments : 0