Scientists have created the world's first complete map of human immune system connections

Scientists have created the world's first complete map of human immune system connections

Using advanced screening techniques to connect individual cells, scientists have created the first complete map of human immune system connections. A new set of connections will help researchers to understand better how diseases like cancer progress and to develop next-generation treatments. They will strengthen the body's protective forces.

The project was implemented with new data on transmissions between immune cells, some of which patrol the body in search of signs of injury or disease, and then send messages to others to join the fight, and are supported by proteins on the surface of immune cells that connect to receptor proteins on the surface of others.

Some of these receptor relationships have already been known by science, but researchers from Wellcome Sanger Institute and ETH Zurich have been active in creating a more complete pattern of their distribution throughout the body. This has been achieved through high-performance screening of surface receptors, so scientists have been able to systematically map the interaction of immune cell proteins on an unprecedented scale.

The pattern of compounds details how immune cells interact across the body and includes previously unknown contacts, thus providing valuable new information on how the body provides immune protection and helping to develop treatment methods, such as improving cancer immunotherapy.