Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Want More Natural Killer - T Cells, Please.

Image found here.

This is an encouraging report of a study which attempted to learn more about the mechanism of autoimmunity, specifically the role of specialized white blood cells: B cells and NKT cells:
An important component of our immune defence is a type of cell called a B cell. Normally, the job of these cells is to produce antibodies, which in turn bind to and neutralise invasive microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. In people with an autoimmune disease, explains Dr Karlsson, these B cells actually have an injurious effect and instead of serving the body, are activated against its own tissues, which they start to break down..........Patients with SLE and other autoimmune diseases have lower levels of so-called NKT cells. Previously, it was not known what part these cells play in the origin and development of the disease; now, however, the research group at KI has shown that this deficiency is a contributory pathogenic factor.
Interesting. A potential link between low levels of NKT cells and autoimmunity. These new treatments can't arrive soon enough.  Go get 'em, Dr. Karlsson.
"This means that new treatments specifically targeting the protective NKT cells can help this patient group," concludes Dr Karlsson.


Jenny P said...

Wow, that one little sentence at the end got me the most. "Wait, what?! HELP us? SOMETHING SPECIFIC might HELP us?". I literally could cry, I've never heard anything like that for autoimmune conditions (not that I'd consider legit, anyway). Amazing.

annie said...

They have found low natural killer T cells in chronic fatigue syndrome. That is a fact, so I'm really not surprised to see this correlation of these particular cells and autoimmune disease. I'm surprised no one found it sooner. Maybe ONE pill for all that ails us? Wonderful news, Julia.

Anna said...

This is really interesting! I've heard more and more science showing correlation between auto-immunity, excess inflammation in the body and chronic pain conditions, with side effects of fatigue, overweight and depression, that I'm actually considering doing this anti-inflammatory diet: http://365painfreedays.blogspot.com/2010/05/130-eat-anti-inflammatory-foods.html
A friend of mine who has sjogrens and crohns says it completely turned her health around.

Margaret said...

AHCC is supposed to promote the production of killer T cells - could this be a way forward? Has anyone tried it with chronic fatigue syndrome?