Nav: Home

NIH scientists find microbes on the skin of mice promote tissue healing, immunity

January 18, 2018

WHAT:

Beneficial bacteria on the skin of lab mice work with the animals' immune systems to defend against disease-causing microbes and accelerate wound healing, according to new research from scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers say untangling similar mechanisms in humans may improve approaches to managing skin wounds and treating other damaged tissues. The study was published online today in Cell.

Like humans and other mammals, mice are inhabited by large, diverse microbial populations collectively called the microbiome. While the microbiome is believed to have many beneficial functions across several organ systems, little is known about how the immune system responds to these harmless bacteria.

To investigate, NIAID scientists led by Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., chief of the Mucosal Immunology Section of NIAID's Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, observed the reaction of mouse immune cells to Staphylococcus epidermidis, a bacterium regularly found on human skin that does not normally cause disease. To their surprise, immune cells recognized S. epidermidis using evolutionarily ancient molecules called non-classical MHC molecules, which led to the production of unusual T cells with genes associated with tissue healing and antimicrobial defense. In contrast, immune cells recognize disease-causing bacteria with classical MHC molecules, which lead to the production of T cells that stoke inflammation.

Researchers then took skin biopsies from two groups of mice--one group that had been colonized by S. epidermidis and another that had not. Over five days, the group that had been exposed to the beneficial bacteria experienced more tissue repair at the wound site and less evidence of inflammation. Dr. Belkaid's team plans to next probe whether non-classical MHC molecules recognize friendly microbes on the skin of other mammals, including humans, and similarly benefit tissue repair. Eventually, mimicking the processes initiated by the microbiome may allow clinicians to accelerate wound healing and prevent dangerous infections, the researchers note.
-end-
ARTICLE:

J Linehan et al. Non-classical immunity controls microbiota impact on skin immunity and tissue repair. Cell DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.12.033 (2018).

WHO:

Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., Mucosal Immunology Section Chief in NIAID's Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases and study co-author, is available for comment.

CONTACT:

To schedule interviews, please contact Judith Lavelle, (301) 402-1663, judith.lavelle@nih.gov.

NIAID conducts and supports research--at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide--to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Related Infectious Diseases Articles:

Critical gaps in our knowledge of where infectious diseases occur
Today Scientists have called for action. The scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution have published a joint statement from scientists at Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen and North Carolina State University.
'Flying syringes' could detect emerging infectious diseases
Blood-sucking flies can act as 'flying syringes' to detect emerging infectious diseases in wild animals before they spread to humans, according to research published in the journal eLife.
27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Media can register now for the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Vienna, Saturday 22 April to Tuesday 25 April 2017.
Young doctors working in infectious diseases suffering burnout and bullying
One in five physicians working in medical microbiology and infectious diseases is suffering from burnout, bullying and poor work-life balance.
Gut cells are gatekeepers of infectious brain diseases, study finds
Fresh insights into infectious brain conditions help to explain why some people -- and animals -- are more at risk than others.
More than 3 million children under 5 years old will die from infectious diseases next year
A new report outlines the alarming burden of pediatric infectious diseases across the world.
New global migration mapping to help fight against infectious diseases
Geographers at the University of Southampton have completed a large scale data and mapping project to track the flow of internal human migration in low and middle income countries.
More research is needed on how climate change affects infectious diseases
It is time we act proactively to minimize the effect of climate change on our health, say the researchers behind a new review published in Environment International.
A global early warning system for infectious diseases
In the recent issue of EMBO reports, Barbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and John Drake of the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology call for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases.
Ways of reducing the transmission of infectious diseases in transport hubs
Transport plays a major role in the spread of transmissible diseases.

Related Infectious Diseases Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...