Intestinal cells give the signal to the immune system during parasite invasion

As several complicated processes are occurring in the gut, the naive findings add one more. Certainly, when any food-borne pathogen reaches the intestine, there prevails a mechanism of how the immune cells just activate and interact with the foreign matter. This happens due to the production of signaling molecules, that will perhaps yield the immune response.

Researchers from the University of Pennysylvania found interest to observe the signaling of alarm molecules induced by the parasite Cryptosporidium. This parasite, portrayed as emerging zoonoses, is one of the leading causes of diarrhea in small children. It predisposes the young folks to malnutrition by causing severe inflammation of the intestine. Also, it affects domestic animals invariably. It neither has efficient treatment nor vaccine.

The molecular findings

The parasite generally affects the intestine by attaching to the brush border cells using lectins. It’s some kind of puzzling how these activate the local immune cell. Interestingly, they found that the enterocyte releases the danger signals via the NLRP6 receptor. These signals hugely demand a call for immune cells. Often we think that the macrophage and dendritic cells are presumably the first line of defense for a pathogen. However, the sensor of the signaling molecule produced by the gut cells would trigger the action of immune cells.

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Besides viewing the inflammasomes in mice, they tried to change the specific component and removed an enzyme to know how it works. Surprisingly, the expert identified the enzyme caspase-1, when removed, added more pathogenicity. To prove this, they experimented on mice that lacked caspase-1 in intestinal cells. Altogether it resembles the same conclusion, that enables the wonderful role played by gut cells.

There occurs a controversy about whether the gut microbiome has a role in the activation of inflammasomes. The scientists proved it wrong by researching on gnotobiotic mice. Also, we say IL-18 is the probable cytokine responsible for inflammasome activation.

Knowing all these molecular pathways, the experts could find suitable vaccines or drugs, that might helps in controlling the inflammations caused by the pathogen.

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Source: Medical Xpress

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