Innate immune defenses triggered by unsuspected mechanism

To the amazement of researchers in immunology and genetics, a previously unsuspected mechanism is activated in the presence of pathogens after only a few hours. In the hours following an attack by bacteria, scientists observed the activation of thousand of genes in the cells of the innate immune system and the triggering of its immune defences, according to a researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and professor at the University of Montreal. Scientists were surprised that the bacterial infection caused thousands of changes in DNA methylation, while this epigenetic imprint was thought to be stable and non-reactive to environmental perturbations.To reach this conclusion, the researcher and his team inoculated a live strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to dendritic cells, which make up the innate immune system. In addition to observing thousands of DNA methylation changes very quickly after infection, there was a significant loss of methylation, which was strongly linked to the activation of neighbouring genes.
Source :      2016/1/26 10:27

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