The language of immune defenses will contribute to the development of new vaccines

Francisco Sánchez-Madrid


    Francisco Sánchez-Madrid


    Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), Spain


    The immune system has different ways of developing its defenses. The most common form of training of acquired immunity is the contact between the lymphocyte and the foreign agent, the antigen. But cells have other ways to communicate to improve their defense system against assaults.

    One of the ways they alert themselves to perils is by means of exosomes, sort of nanobiosphere messengers that direct the immune response. The exosomes contain components that alert other cells and help them to activate against possible threats and fight against future infections.

    This research project aims to understand the mechanisms underlying this communication between the different types of defenses, which adopt new forms of immunity without previously having been in direct contact with the pathogen.

    These findings will allow us to establish the basis of a new strategy to develop vaccines and to face the problem of infections, which every year results in the death of 15 million people worldwide.


    Readying immune cells prior to disease-inducing encounters