Dec 20, 2022

These Immune Cells Can Shield the Brain & Prevent Cognitive Decline

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

It was once thought that inflammation and immune responses in the brain were limited; that is was a so-called immune privileged organ. But there is increasing evidence to the contrary. New research has shown that immune cells called mucosal-associated invariant T cells (MAITs) can serve critical roles in the brain that reduce the levels of damaging reactive oxygen species, which prevents neuroinflammation, and protects learning and memory. The findings have been reported in Nature Immunology.

In this study, researchers genetically engineered mice so MAITs would no longer be produced. These mice were compared to a normal group and mice and while cognitive function was the same in both groups to start with, difference appeared as the mice approached middle age. The MAIT-deficient mice had difficulty forming new memories.

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