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ADTB-supported research: World first discovery of spleen function could lead to better treatments for infectious diseases

10 Jan 2022

Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) have discovered a new gene that plays an important role in the way the spleen functions, potentially leading to new treatments for infectious diseases.

The study also uncovered multiple new spleen cells and revealed the distinct way they respond in order to fight off different infections.

University of Melbourne Professor Scott Mueller, a Laboratory Head at the Doherty Institute and lead author on the paper, explained that whilst it is known the spleen is made up of various networks of cells called fibroblasts, a clear picture of how these cells are constructed and function, was lacking.

Professor Mueller said this work provided a new roadmap of the spleen that could lead to new therapies to treat diseases such as severe acute virus infections and chronic infections, and new ways to target the immune system to improve disease outcome.

The study, ‘A diverse fibroblastic stromal cell landscape in the spleen directs tissue homeostasis and immunity’, is published in Science Immunology.


This article was adapted from an original article by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

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