Immune Cells Protect Body from Invaders, According to Penn Researchers

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | Karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658February 4, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - So-called barrier sites -- the skin, gut, lung ‚Äď limit the inner body‚Äôs exposure to allergens, pollutants, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Understanding how the immune system works in these external surfaces has implications for understanding such inflammatory diseases as asthma, psoriasis, IBD, and food allergies, all of which occur at the body‚Äôs barriers.

David Artis, PhD, professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Gregory F. Sonnenberg, a predoctoral fellow in the Artis lab, have identified an immune cell population that acts as the body’s border patrol with the outside world. They discovered that these lymphoid tissue inducer cells maintain immunity in the intestine of mice. The research appeared in the most recent online issue of Immunity.

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