An article by Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Paul W. Kincade, Ph.D., has been selected to appear on the cover of the September 17 issue of Immunity, the leading journal in the field of immunology.
Kincade’s article looks at the development of immune cells from the time when they first appear in embryos and compares them to ones found in the immune systems of adults.
Dr. Takafumi Yokota and others in Kincade’s lab used genetically altered mice in which a portion of the mouse genome was re placed with a fluorescent marker. “This model allows us to see the most primitive lymphoid cells that have ever been seen in a living embryo,” Kincade said.
The research, said Kincade, is important for shedding light on how the immune system is initially constructed and then replenished on a daily basis. “We’re adding to a growing body of data that suggests that blood cells appear in waves of development,” he said. “It raises interesting issues about where blood comes from and about how the process of lymphocyte formation differs in adults and fetuses.”
A better understanding of normal immune system development, said Kincade, will provide useful clues about diseases such as childhood leukemia. In addition, the findings bear on issues related to vaccination of children and their susceptibility to infections.
Kincade heads OMRF’s immunobiology and cancer research program and is the President-elect of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the nation’s largest coalition of biomedical research associations. He also recently served as President of the American Association of Immunologists. The article is entitled “Primitive Rag-1-Expressing Lymphocyte Progenitors in Fetal Liver.”.
OMRF (www.omrf.org) is a non-profit biomedical research institute dedicated to understand and curing human disease. Its scientists focus on such critical research areas as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease. OMRF is home to Oklahoma’s only Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and only member of the National Academy of Sciences in the area of biomedical research