A new understanding of intracellular pathways activated as T cells start to mount an immune response offers clues against graft-versus-host disease, a serious complication of bone marrow transplantation.

When they are activated to mount an immune response, T cells produce secretory proteins that helps to manage their growth and other functions. But the intracellular pathways involved and molecular components that regulate this key process aren’t well understood.

New research from a team of scientists at the University of Michigan sheds light on this important area of immune response, and points toward a new potential therapeutic target for decreasing the severity of graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), a potentially fatal complication of bone marrow transplantation. Bone marrow transplants are used to treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, along with other diseases that affect the bone marrow.

Credit: NIAID

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