A research team at the Luxembourg Institute of Health have uncovered a previously unknown way in which our immune system activates its immune cells. The novel findings have just been published in the world’s most prestigious immunology journal, ‘Immunity’. The LIH research team was led by FNR ATTRACT Fellow Prof Dr Dirk Brenner.
T-cells are a specific type of white blood cells, which play an important role in the immune system – their job is to attack e.g. virus-infected cells or cancer cells. Prof Brenner’s team discovered that a specific antioxidant is responsible for boosting the energy of the T-cells, and so enabling them to spring into action and fight of intruders, rather than remain in the dormant state they are otherwise in.
The team are the first to take an in-depth look at this particular process, and the results published in the journal could help develop new treatment strategies for targeting cancer and autoimmune diseases.
The study involved close collaboration with Prof Karsten Hiller (former FNR ATTRACT Fellow) from the University of Luxembourg, now Director of the Department of Bioinformatics and Biochemistry at the University of Braunschweig, as well as Prof Tak W. from the University of Toronto, Canada.
The team’s work is the ‘Featured Article’ of the current issue of ‘Immunity’, reflecting the significance of the work.
About Dirk Brenner
Prof Dr is Head of Experimental & Molecular Immunology Laboratory at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH). He came to Luxembourg after being awarded an FNR ATTRACT Fellowship in 2014, for the project ‘DBRRIL – Regulating the regulators: Gateways of inflammation and lymphoma‘. Find out more about Prof Brenner’s work in our video below:
Read about this discovery on the LIH website
Link to publication: Glutathione Primes T Cell Metabolism for Inflammation