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The methods of how T cells use glucose evolves throughout an immune response giving insights into the progression of diseases like cancer and bacterial infections.
Fremont, CA: Old researches have shown that specialized immune cells called T cells derive energy by converting glucose to power their cellular function. This is evident from cells grown in Petri dishes isolated from their typical environment. Similar to how observing animal behavior in a zoo and wildlife varies, immune cells do not operate in a vacuum. They work mutually with a host of other cells and factors, and it influences how and when energy is used.
Researchers at Van Andel Institute's Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group have proposed that for all therapeutic development, studying and understanding cellular metabolism is critical. There emerges the need to study the cells in relation to the natural environment. During their study, they found that T cells in a living system utilize glucose as an energy source for replicating DNA and other maintenance tasks while converting glucose into raw energy. Their research also proves that the way T cells process glucose varies as they progress in their immune response. Apparently, the study shows that T cells use resources differently in the body, especially when fighting against bacterial infection or a disease like cancer.
The findings have enormous implications for how scientists study the complicated, interconnected systems that support health and disease and how they convert these insights into
new diagnostic and treatment strategies.
Immune cells react vigorously when metabolism is considered to infections and diseases than one could imagine. Research findings help an in-depth understanding of what do immune cells require for their optimal function, thereby, map how differently T cells use nutrients under varying circumstances in living organisms.
Forging ahead, this new mapping technique is valuable for disease-specific studies. In future, the team plans to develop human studies to measure the utilization of glucose and other nutrients by T cells when they are responding to pathogens, injuries and diseases like cancer.