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Fever Plays Key Role in Fighting Infection

Posted Nov 24 2011 10:14pm
Posted on 2011-11-24 06:00:00 in Immune System |

Recent studies have begun to support the notion that elevated body temperature helps certain types of immune cells to work better.  Elizabeth A. Repasky, from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (New York, USA), and colleagues have found that the generation and differentiation of a particular kind of lymphocyte, known as a CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell (capable of destroying virus-infected cells and tumor cells) is enhanced by mild fever-range hyperthermia. Specifically, their research suggests that elevated body temperature changes the T-cells' membranes which may help mediate the effects of micro-environmental temperature on cell function. To test this, researchers injected two groups of mice with an antigen, and examined the activation of T-cells following the interaction with antigen presenting cells. Body temperature in half of the mice was raised by 2 degrees centigrade, while the other half maintained a normal core body temperature. In the warmed mice, results showed a greater number of the type of CD8 T-cells capable of destroying infected cells.   The team concludes that: “Overall, these novel findings may help us to further understand the impact of physiologically relevant temperature shifts on the regulation of antigen-specific CD8+ T cell activation and the subsequent generation of effector cells.”

Thomas A. Mace, Lingwen Zhong, Casey Kilpatrick, Evan Zynda, Chen-Ting Lee, Maegan Capitano, Hans Minderman, Elizabeth A. Repasky.  “Differentiation of CD8+ T cells into effector cells is enhanced by physiological range hyperthermia.”  J Leukoc Biol, November 2011; 90:951-962.



  
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