Memory T Cells Shelter in Bone Marrow, Boosting Immunity in Mice with Restricted Diets
Published:06 Sep.2019    Source:National Institutes of Health

Even when taking in fewer calories and nutrients, humans and other mammals usually remain protected against infectious diseases they have already encountered. This may be because memory T cells, which are located throughout the body and required to maintain immune responses to infectious agents, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Their study in mice, published online today in Cell, also found that animals undergoing dietary restriction were better protected against tumors and bacterial infections than animals with unrestricted diets.

 

Researchers led by Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., chief of the Metaorganism Immunity Section in NIAID’s Division of Intramural Research, previously observed that fat tissue harbors memory T cells in mice. They investigated whether this phenomenon helped preserve immune memory when calorie intake was reduced. To investigate, they restricted the diet of mice previously given full access to food. While receiving less food, mice had fewer memory T cells in their lymphoid tissues, where they normally linger, and more of the T cells in bone marrow that became enriched with fat tissue.