The parasite Toxoplasma is carried by a big portion of the worldwide human inhabitants. Now a research led by researchers at Stockholm College reveals how this microscopic parasite so efficiently spreads within the physique, for instance to the mind. The parasite infects immune cells and hijacks their identification. The research is revealed within the scientific journal Cell Host & Microbe.
In an effort to battle infections, the varied roles of immune cells within the physique are very strictly regulated. Scientists have lengthy questioned how Toxoplasma manages to contaminate so many individuals and animal species and unfold so effectively.
“We have now now found a protein that the parasite makes use of to reprogram the immune system”, says Arne ten Hoeve, researcher on the Division of Molecular Biosciences, Wenner-Gren Institute at Stockholm College.
The research reveals that the parasite injects the protein into the nucleus of the immune cell and thus adjustments the cell’s identification. The parasite methods the immune cell into considering it’s one other kind of cell. This adjustments the gene expression and habits of the immune cell. Toxoplasma causes contaminated cells which usually mustn’t journey within the physique to maneuver in a short time and on this method the parasite spreads to totally different organs.
The phenomenon has been described as Toxoplasma turning immune cells into Trojan horses or wandering “zombies” that unfold the parasite. The newly revealed research offers a molecular clarification for the phenomenon, and likewise reveals that the parasite is way more focused in its unfold than beforehand thought.
“It’s astonishing that the parasite succeeds in hijacking the identification of the immune cells in such a intelligent method. We consider that the findings can clarify why Toxoplasma spreads so effectively within the physique when it infects people and animals,” says Professor Antonio Barragan, who led the research, which was carried out in collaboration with researchers from France and the USA.
Arne L. ten Hoeve, Laurence Braun, Matias E. Rodriguez, Gabriela C. Olivera, Alexandre Bougdour, Lucid Belmudes, Yohann Couté, Jeroen P.J. Saeij, Mohamed-Ali Hakimi, Antonio Barragan DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2022.10.001