Immune Cells Take Divergent Paths When Fighting Infections

Armen Hareyan's picture
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How do immune cells decide to respond to invading microbes by either fighting to the death or becoming the body's memory for future infections? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that immune cells can differ in their inheritance of molecules that regulate cell fate, and therefore what role they play in fighting infection. The research appears this week in an early online issue of Science.

"These findings will change the way we look at how vaccines work," says lead author Steven Reiner, MD, Professor of Medicine. "Until now, we have pretty much been in the dark as to how we generate the spectrum of immune cells that are needed to fight off infections. We've always known the end result

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