New Method Studies Ability of Immune Cells to Fight Oral Disease

A new study by Case Western Reserve University researchers seeks to determine exactly how the mouth thwarts certain oral diseases. The research team wanted to extract single rare immune cells to learn how the mouth reduces infection and inflammation.

By looking at the techniques of the white blood cells, researchers want to discover more about preventing such issues as oral cancer, cardiovascular disease, AIDS, and other diseases.

Previously studying and growing immune cells from blood was the best way to accomplish this. By studying tissue immune cells, researchers may determine how they function at the infection site.

Adaptive immune cells play a much more understood role in the stomach and intestines. But as of now, there is not a reliable method in which to take immune cells from the mouth. The reason for this is that it’s a challenge for researchers to separate immune cells with enough accuracy to study.

The method is explained in the article in Biological Procedures titled “Isolation of T cells from mouse oral tissues.”

Pushpa Pandiyan, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the Case Western Reserve University dental school, could not find a reliable way to find these cells throughout her HIV research. So out of necessity, the research team came up with this new method. Now, 94 percent of the isolated cells lived long enough to accurately study.

Two important specialized immune T lympochytes that combat oral disease were explored using mouse models. These cells are part of the adaptive immune system and the cells react to pathogens trying to enter the body.

The researchers used tissue samples from the mouths of mice. The samples were cleaned thoroughly and often with antibiotics. The tissues were then disintegrated with salts and enzymes. The solution was later centrifuged and strained to divide different aspects of it before more washing and separation occurred. The analysis of the cells then commenced.