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Project context and summary :
In recent years the concept that only adaptive immunity mediates memory responses has been challenged by several examples of innate immune memory, as shown for macrophages and NK cells. NK cells are innate lymphoid cells, with well-established roles in targeting cancer and virally infected cells, and in addition, are crucial players in antibacterial immunity. Similarly to what has been shown in response to virus, our work is revealing that NK cells maintain a memory of bacterial infection, as seen by a faster and more tailored response to subsequent infections. In response to viral infection, it has been shown that a certain subpopulation of NK cells become “memory” cells, which can expand and contract according to necessity. Similar studies in search of a memory population to bacterial infection have not been shown. Indeed, a major setback in such experiments is the lack of established markers for memory cells. Without a known receptor-ligand interaction, like what has been described for viruses, specific memory subpopulations are very difficult to identify by classical approaches. Single cell transcriptomics represents a novel approach that has been used to discover multiple immune subtypes and will provide a method to identify new sub-populations of memory cells within the NK cell pool.Related team publications :
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