From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Multicellular battlefields: That's us

Human Interferon Gamma Crystal Structure  (PD)
If you’re feeling immune to social invitations, it could be because your immune system is weak.

Results from a study at the University of Virginia School of Medicine indicate “that the immune system directly affects – and even controls – creatures’ social behavior.” It is now known that the brain is linked with the lymphatic system via the meningeal vessels.  Interferon gamma can therefore enter the brain area.

Interferon gamma is “normally produced by the immune system in response to bacteria, viruses or parasites.”  Sociability seems directly tied to the presence of this molecule.  With the addition of interferon gamma, organisms are better protected from pathogens that easily multiply within social situations.

Conversely, lower levels of interferon gamma have been associated with social withdrawal.  An extremely malfunctioning immune system may therefore "have enormous implications for neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.”


Copyright July 19, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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