Special Reports

T-Cells Have Long Memories, Studies Suggest; Activation Could Lead To New Vaccines [VIDEO]


A new study suggests that the nose recruits some immune cells with long memories to stand guard against viruses. These immune cells are called the T-Cells and they protect the nose from harmful agents.

Long Memory T-Cells

A new study has discovered that for the first time, the T-cells were found in the nose. The T-Cells may prevent flue from happening again if it resides in the nose. Researchers also said that future nasal spray vaccines that could boost the number of the T-Cells in the nose might cause improvement rather than the current flu shots, Science News reports.

The T-Cells are usually known to live in specific tissues like the brain, liver, skin, lungs, and intestines. In most of these tissues, the immune cells that are resident here will start watching over after a localized infection that happened in the past. Immunologist Linda Wakim explained that these cells are basically just sitting there and waiting in case the individual gets infected with the virus again.

With the long memory of the T-Cells, they can quickly kill infected cells if a previous virus gets into the body again. They can also make chemical signals, called cytokines, so that they can call in other immune cells for reinforcement. These immune cells can actually live in these tissues for many years.

Lung T-Cells are different because it does not have long memories. The nose T-cells, on the other hand, had long memories, persisting for at least a year. Wakim explained that the experimental mice exhibited these T-Cells in their noses and she said that it is quite a long time for them, almost a third of their life. She does not know the difference yet, but discovering the reason may enable the researchers to boost lung T-Cell memory in the future.

T-Cell Activation Might Create New And Better Vaccines

Professor Aron Lukacher has revealed details about the process of making a good tissue-residetn memory T-Cell response against infections that come back in repetition.  He explained that adjusting the strength of the T-Cell receptor stimulation increased the generation of the T-Cells in the brain. If the stimulation was weaker, the cells had better memory, Penn State News reported.

Check out the How T-Cells Work video below:

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