Adaptive and innate immunity

Two 2021 reviews presented aspects of human immune systems: “The adaptive immune system’s challenge is to protect the host through generation and differentiation of pathogen‐specific short‐lived effector T cells, while in parallel developing long‐lived memory cells to control future encounters with the same pathogen. The system highly relies on self‐renewal of naïve and memory T … Continue reading Adaptive and innate immunity

Immune memory vs. immune adaptation

This 2019 Dutch/German/Romanian perspective aimed for a better understanding of immune systems: “Based on molecular, immunological, and evolutionary arguments, we propose that innate immune memory is a primitive form of immune memory present in all living organisms, while adaptive immune memory is an advanced form of immune memory representing an evolutionary innovation in vertebrates. Innate … Continue reading Immune memory vs. immune adaptation

Adaptations to stress encourage mutations in a DNA area that causes diseases

This 2015 Baylor human cell study subject was the underlying mechanisms of cellular responses to environmental stressors of cold, heat, hypoxia, and oxidation: “Because trinucleotide repeats are overrepresented in gene-regulatory proteins, stress-induced trinucleotide repeat mutagenesis may provide a path for the environment to subtly alter gene regulatory networks – with attendant changes in cell behavior – during … Continue reading Adaptations to stress encourage mutations in a DNA area that causes diseases

Trained immunity epigenetics

Two papers on trained immunity, starting with a 2022 review: “Live attenuated vaccines such as the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin, measles-containing vaccines, and the oral polio vaccine have been shown to reduce overall mortality beyond their effects attributable to the targeted diseases. After an encounter with a primary stimulus, epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming of bone marrow progenitor … Continue reading Trained immunity epigenetics

The goddess of rainbows

Two 2022 papers, starting with a review of irisin: “This article is an overview of irisin generation, secretion, and tissue distribution. Its targeting of tissues or organs for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases is systematically summarized, with discussion of underlying molecular mechanisms. Irisin is an exercise-induced myokine expressed as a bioactive peptide in multiple … Continue reading The goddess of rainbows

Non-CpG methylation

Three 2022 papers on methylation epigenetic modifiers, starting with a human study focused on mitochondrial DNA non-CpG methylation involving nucleobases other than guanine (arginine, cytosine, or thymine): “We collected brain tissue in the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex from deceased individuals without (n = 39) and with (n = 14) drug use, and used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to cover … Continue reading Non-CpG methylation

Young immune system, young brain

This 2022 study investigated brain aging: “We aimed to explore key genes underlying cognitively normal brain aging and its potential molecular mechanisms. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain aging are complex and mainly include: Dysfunction of mitochondria; Accumulation of oxidatively damaged proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids in brain cells; Disorders of energy metabolism; Impaired ‘waste … Continue reading Young immune system, young brain

Signaling pathways and aging

This 2022 study investigated biological mechanisms of aging: “Age-related multimorbidity, the presence of more than one age-related disease (ARD) in an individual, poses a major and increasing challenge. Open questions are whether mechanisms of aging can explain ARD co-occurrence in patients, and whether intervention into these mechanisms could prevent or treat multiple ARDs simultaneously. Five … Continue reading Signaling pathways and aging

Signaling pathways and disordered proteins

This 2022 review explored the title subject: “Cell signaling imposes many demands on proteins that comprise these pathways, including abilities to form active and inactive states, and to engage in multiple protein interactions. Signaling often requires amplifying signals, regulating or tuning responses to signals, combining information sourced from multiple pathways, all while ensuring process fidelity. … Continue reading Signaling pathways and disordered proteins

Gut signals

I’ll highlight signaling pathway aspects of this 2022 review: “The gut bacterial community plays an important role in regulation of multiple aspects of metabolic disorders. This regulation depends, among other things, on production of a wide variety of metabolites by microbiota and on their interactions with receptors on host cells that can activate or inhibit … Continue reading Gut signals

Inevitable individual differences

This 2021 review subject was individual differences: “We will focus on recent findings that try to shed light on the emergence of individuality, with a particular interest in Drosophila melanogaster. (A) Cumulative and relative contribution of different sources of interindividual variability from early development stages to adult life experience. Individuality emerges from the combination of … Continue reading Inevitable individual differences

Immune system aging

This 2021 review by three coauthors of Take responsibility for your one precious life – Trained innate immunity cast a wide net: “Non-specific innate and antigen-specific adaptive immunological memories are vital evolutionary adaptations that confer long-lasting protection against a wide range of pathogens. However, these mechanisms of memory generation and maintenance are compromised as organisms … Continue reading Immune system aging

Uses of the neutrophils-to-lymphocytes ratio

This 2021 review subject was recent history and uses of the neutrophils-to-lymphocytes ratio parameter to indicate systemic inflammation and stress: “NLR is widely used across almost all medical disciplines as a reliable and easily available marker of immune response to various infectious and non-infectious stimuli. NLR reflects dynamic relationships between innate (neutrophils) and adaptive (lymphocytes) … Continue reading Uses of the neutrophils-to-lymphocytes ratio

Reworking evolutionary theory

Dr. Michael Skinner coauthored a 2021 review arguing for inclusion of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance into evolutionary theory: “Over the past 50 years, molecular technology has been used to investigate evolutionary biology. Many examples of finding no correlated genetic mutations or a low frequency of DNA sequence mutations suggest that additional mechanisms are also involved. Identical twins … Continue reading Reworking evolutionary theory

Remembering encounters provides future benefits

Two 2021 papers on trained immunity, with the first a review: “Effective memory immune responses rely on interaction between innate and adaptive immune cells. While activation of innate immunity provides the first line of defense against infections, it also primes the adaptive immune response. Adaptive immunity can enhance antimicrobial machinery of innate cells, making them … Continue reading Remembering encounters provides future benefits