Volume 9 Issue 5, May 2008

Volume 9 Issue 5

In response to viruses, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) produce interferon-α. Connolly and colleagues (p. 551; News and Views by Pulendran, p. 461) show that pDCs also rapidly internalize exogenous viral antigens and present them on major histocompatibility complex class I to CD8+ T cells. The original image shows the pDC major histocompatibility complex class I compartment (red), nuclei (blue) and actin (green). Original image by Sandra Clayton. Artwork by Lewis Long.


  • Editorial |

    Responding to escalating violence by extremist animal-rights groups, academics are working proactively to prevent the harassment and harm of scientists.

  • Editorial |

    This Focus on natural killer cells aims to highlight what is currently known and what remains to be understood about these important innate immune cells.

Meeting Reports

  • Meeting Report |

    Every 2 years, scientists interested in immunomodulation meet to discuss new opportunities arising from interactions between basic science and clinical 'translation'. This report discusses the 8th International Conference on New Trends in Immunosuppression and Immunotherapy, 2008, in Berlin.

    • Birgit Sawitzki
    • , Petra Reinke
    • , Hans-Dieter Volk
    • , Kathryn Wood
    •  & Laurence A Turka

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    The intensity of cytokine-induced signaling by the kinase PI(3)K subunit p110δ proves to be an important regulator of T cell migration patterns. High PI(3)K activity functions through the nutrient and bioenergetic sensor mTOR to modulate the transcription factor KLF2 and thereby the repertoire of tissue-homing receptors expressed on effector T cells.

    • Gabriel Berstein
    •  & Robert T Abraham
  • News & Views |

    How engagement of surface T cell antigen receptors 'translates' into intracellular signal cascades remains vague. Genetic and biochemical experiments now allow modification of a model linking ligation of these receptors with CD3ɛ and other cytoplasmic signal-transduction 'machinery'.

    • Jonathan S Maltzman
    •  & Gary A Koretzky
  • News & Views |

    Toll-like receptor signaling induces the production of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferons. Inhibition of the kinase IRAK1 by the phosphatase SHP-1 provides reciprocal regulation of these pathways by dampening the former while enhancing the latter.

    • Luke A J O'Neill
  • News & Views |

    Cross-presentation of antigens is essential for the responses of cytotoxic T cells to tumors and viruses. Two new papers offer insights into the subcellular compartment and types of dendritic cells that mediate cross-presentation.

    • Sudhir Pai Kasturi
    •  & Bali Pulendran



  • Essay |

    The idea that NK cells can distinguish aberrant cells by recognizing 'absence of the expected', rather than 'presence of the unexpected' emerged more than 25 years ago. Klas Kärre recapitulates how the idea took shape, and the first five years of experimental work to test its general predictions.

    • Klas Kärre



Research Highlights




  • Focus |

    Natural Killer Cells

    An overview, two review articles, two perspective articles and one personal essay discuss the differentiation, responsiveness and biological functions of natural killer cells.