Medical research

Microglia: the movers and shakers of the brain

(Medical Xpress)—Once the brain has fully developed, its neurons and astrocytes remain relatively fixed. There are a few select migratory streams that replenish vulnerable populations with dedicated stem cell recruits, ...

Neuroscience

Volitional control from optical signals

(Medical Xpress)—In their quest to build better BMIs, or brain-machine-interfaces, researchers have recently begun to look closer at the sub-threshold activity of neurons. The reason for this trend is that with only a limited ...

Medical research

Immune system discoveries earn Nobel in medicine (Update)

Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discoveries about the immune system that opened new avenues for the treatment and prevention of infectious illnesses and cancer.

Medical research

Common tumor inhibitor drug triggers unfavorable immune effects

Cancer immunotherapy involving drugs that inhibit CTLA-4 also activates an unwanted response that may self-limit its efficacy in fighting tumors, according to a new study led by Francesco Marangoni, Ph.D., assistant professor ...

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Dendritic cell

Dendritic cells (DCs) are immune cells that form part of the mammalian immune system. Their main function is to process antigen material and present it on the surface to other cells of the immune system, thus functioning as antigen-presenting cells.

Dendritic cells are present in small quantities in tissues that are in contact with the external environment, mainly the skin (where there is a specialized dendritic cell type called Langerhans cells) and the inner lining of the nose, lungs, stomach and intestines. They can also be found in an immature state in the blood. Once activated, they migrate to the lymphoid tissues where they interact with T cells and B cells to initiate and shape the adaptive immune response. At certain development stages they grow branched projections, the dendrites, that give the cell its name. However, these do not have any special relation with neurons, which also possess similar appendages. Immature dendritic cells are also called veiled cells, in which case they possess large cytoplasmic 'veils' rather than dendrites.

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