Working of guardian immune cells stopped by obesity

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‘Natural killer’ cells recognise specific proteins on the surfaces of healthy immune cells that act a little like passwords.

Scientists have uncovered the physiological mechanics underlying inflammation and obesity by tracking the actions of ‘guardian immune cells’ in response to changes in diet. The study has been published in the Journal Immunity.

They believe their work may herald a new era of research now that they have new therapeutic targets to prevent and control obesity-related inflammation and metabolic disease.

The scientists, led by Professor Lydia Lynch of Trinity College Dublin and Harvard Medical School, discovered that special guardian immune cells are unable to function properly once obesity is established, which results in severe inflammation and metabolic dysfunction. 

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