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ME/CFS and related chronic complex diseases

What do T cells and B cells do?

Translations: Čeština Nederlands Français Italiano Norsk bokmål Português Español Svenska

On this #OMFScienceWednesday, we look at two cell types in our immune system that have been particularly interesting for ME/CFS research lately: T cells and B cells.

Both of these cell types are important for defending us against infections, but they do so in different ways:

  • B cells produce antibodies to ‘capture’ invading germs. Sometimes they produce autoantibodies that mistakenly also target our own tissues, and some studies suggest this is happening in ME/CFS. The drug Rituximab, which is believed to deplete B cells, has been tested in patients in hopes of curbing overactivity of B cells (see last week’s post for more)
  • T cells use other methods, including signalling via cytokine production. A subset known as ‘killer’ T cells directly target and eliminate infected cells. Stay tuned for upcoming posts explaining the research we are funding on T cells at the ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford!

Read more about what makes T cells and B cells special: http://whoami.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

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