Browse Articles

  • Journal Club |

    Betty Wu-Hsieh describes a 2013 paper by Gordon Brown and colleagues that showed fungal strain-specific interactions with the innate immune system.

    • Betty A. Wu-Hsieh
  • Review Article |

    Vaccine trials against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) are showing encouraging results. This Review discusses current Mtb vaccine design in the light of new insights into the immunology of tuberculosis infection.

    • Peter Andersen
    •  & Thomas J. Scriba
  • Review Article |

    Tuft cells captured the attention of immunologists with recent discoveries linking them to type 2 immunity in the small intestine. As described here, these rare secretory epithelial cells act as chemosensory sentinels that detect and relay responses through immune and neuronal cells.

    • Christoph Schneider
    • , Claire E. O’Leary
    •  & Richard M. Locksley
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies identify the discrete stromal cell subtypes that produce IL-33 in adipose tissue to support the immune cells that maintain adipose tissue homeostasis.

    • Lucy Bird
  • Research Highlight |

    An intestinal mucus-dwelling bacterial species can trigger spontaneous colitis in mice lacking genes associated with Crohn’s disease.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that circular RNAs that contain double-stranded regions can modulate innate immunity by inhibiting the pattern recognition receptor protein kinase R (PKR).

    • Alexandra Flemming
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study describes how mechanical skin injury caused by scratching can promote food anaphylaxis by increasing the number of mast cells in the gut through a keratinocyte–ILC2–tuft cell pathway.

    • Kirsty Minton
  • Review Article |

    This Review covers new insights into the immune roles of complement. The authors discuss the pathways that link complement signalling with homeostatic and pathological T cell responses and highlight how complement components act intracellularly to shape T cell responses.

    • Edimara S. Reis
    • , Dimitrios C. Mastellos
    • , George Hajishengallis
    •  & John D. Lambris
  • Research Highlight |

    Computational modelling predicts a co-stimulatory role for Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) in naive CD4+ T cell activation.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Review Article |

    The NLRP3 inflammasome mediates pro-inflammatory responses and pyroptotic cell death. Here, the authors describe the complex pathways controlling its activation and regulation and how it is being targeted to treat inflammatory diseases.

    • Karen V. Swanson
    • , Meng Deng
    •  & Jenny P.-Y. Ting
  • Review Article |

    In this Review, Greg Lemke explains how macrophages are able to sense and respond to dead and dying cells. The author discusses the physiological implications of such macrophage activity.

    • Greg Lemke
  • Research Highlight |

    To maintain homeostasis and minimize unnecessary, potentially damaging inflammatory responses, tissue-resident macrophages cloak small tissue lesions to prevent neutrophil activation.

    • Lucy Bird
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies show that the inflammasome protein NLRP1B becomes activated in response to pathogen-induced proteasomal degradation of its N-terminal fragment, thereby acting as a sensor of its own stability.

    • Alexandra Flemming
  • Review Article |

    This Review presents evidence that supports a role for the immune system in the pathogenesis of hypertension, including the immune cell subsets involved and the means by which these immune cells become activated throughout the course of the disease.

    • Grant R. Drummond
    • , Antony Vinh
    • , Tomasz J. Guzik
    •  & Christopher G. Sobey
  • Research Highlight |

    This study identifies a role for group 3 innate lymphoid cells in IL-2 production in the small intestine to maintain intestinal homeostasis through effects on regulatory T cells.

    • Kirsty Minton
  • Research Highlight |

    During inflammation, IL-17 rewires metabolic processes in lymph node fibroblastic reticular cells, thereby supporting their survival and population expansion.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Research Highlight |

    Liver macrophages produce the non-inflammatory factor IGFBP7, which has direct effects on liver metabolism in metabolic disease without requiring a switch to a pro-inflammatory phenotype.

    • Kirsty Minton
  • Review Article |

    John Harty and colleagues explain how different subsets of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells and γδ T cells respond to the Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria. They discuss the major challenges that need to be overcome in order to harness T cell responses for malaria vaccines and therapies.

    • Samarchith P. Kurup
    • , Noah S. Butler
    •  & John T. Harty
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study shows that immune activation after infection involves competition for energy with physiological programmes such as maintaining a normal body temperature. This trade-off favours immune tolerance as a strategy for host defence.

    • Lucy Bird
  • Review Article |

    Some immune cells undergo processes that pose unique challenges to the 3D organization of their genomes. These include antigen receptor rearrangement, clonal expansion and the contortion of their nuclei. Here, Allan and colleagues discuss the latest insights into these processes from a structural genomics perspective.

    • Timothy M. Johanson
    • , Wing Fuk Chan
    • , Christine R. Keenan
    •  & Rhys S. Allan
  • Journal Club |

    Doreen Cantrell describes a 2005 paper by Graham Hardie and colleagues showing that Ca2+–calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinases could phosphorylate and activate AMPK, which suggested a biochemical link between T cell receptor signalling and ATP production.

    • Doreen A. Cantrell
  • Review Article |

    This Review describes the diverse and dynamic chromatin modifications that ensure rapid and appropriate innate immune responses to infection. It also discusses how pathogens themselves modify host responses through epigenetic mechanisms to evade elimination.

    • Qian Zhang
    •  & Xuetao Cao
  • Comment |

    Lifestyle-associated pathologies have reached epidemic proportions and urgent action is needed to protect the public from unhealthy diets. Here, the authors describe how the Western diet has long-lasting effects on the immune system that promote chronic metabolic inflammatory diseases.

    • Anette Christ
    •  & Eicke Latz
  • Review Article |

    This Review considers the link between pain and the immune system. Nociceptors are directly activated by immune mediators and microbial products and, in turn, release neuropeptides that shape immune responses. These neuroimmune pathways can contribute to protective immunity from infections but also lead to chronic pain.

    • Pankaj Baral
    • , Swalpa Udit
    •  & Isaac M. Chiu
  • Review Article |

    The intestinal microbiota profoundly shapes host physiology through its production of small molecules and metabolites. Here, Honda and colleagues discuss how these microbial products shape immune function. They further consider the potential of ‘mining’ the microbiota for new microbial and metabolite-based immunotherapies.

    • Ashwin N. Skelly
    • , Yuko Sato
    • , Sean Kearney
    •  & Kenya Honda
  • Research Highlight |

    Failure of anticancer immune responses is often due to T cell dysfunction, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this are incompletely understood. Two papers in Nature now identify NR4A transcription factors as key drivers of T cell dysfunction.

    • Alexandra Flemming
  • Journal Club |

    Mala Maini describes a 1996 paper by Frank Chisari and colleagues that showed CD8+ T cells can exert potent antiviral efficacy against hepatitis B virus without lysing infected cells, through the production of antiviral cytokines.

    • Mala K. Maini
  • Review Article |

    Here, the authors explore how the transcription factor T-bet shapes innate and adaptive immune responses during infection. They consider the evolutionary relationship between T-bet and the related transcription factor eomesodermin (EOMES) and explain how T-bet controls the development of effector and memory T cell populations that mediate protective immunity.

    • Gretchen Harms Pritchard
    • , Ross M. Kedl
    •  & Christopher A. Hunter
  • Review Article |

    Developing universal influenza virus vaccines will require understanding how broad and long-lived antibody responses to natural infection with influenza A virus are generated, a topic that has benefited greatly from technologies that enable the analysis of single human B cells.

    • Florian Krammer
  • Research Highlight |

    Tissue damage in the lungs can lead to the outgrowth of commensal bacterial species that promote fibrotic responses.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Research Highlight |

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells induce macrophage production of pyrimidines that mediate tumour cell resistance to chemotherapy.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Research Highlight |

    The ABC family member ABCF1 has E2 ubiquitin-conjugating activity and regulates Toll-like receptor signalling and macrophage polarization to protect against lethal septic shock.

    • Lucy Bird
  • Perspective |

    Emerging data indicate that neutrophils exist in several different ‘flavours’. Here, the authors outline potential underlying mechanisms for the presence of distinct neutrophil subsets in health and disease.

    • Lai Guan Ng
    • , Renato Ostuni
    •  & Andrés Hidalgo
  • Review Article |

    In this Review, Erika Pearce and colleagues detail the metabolic changes that occur in the tumour microenvironment, explaining how these shape immune cell function at these sites. They highlight the potential of targeting these metabolic pathways to treat patients with cancer

    • David O’Sullivan
    • , David E. Sanin
    • , Edward J. Pearce
    •  & Erika L. Pearce
  • Review Article |

    As in other immune cells, the metabolic pathways in natural killer (NK) cells must be configured to meet the demands of their effector functions. This Review describes the specific metabolic requirements for NK cell responses and how defects in NK cell metabolism may contribute to NK cell dysfunction in chronic disease.

    • Katie L. O’Brien
    •  & David K. Finlay
  • Research Highlight |

    This study describes a mechanism of tumour immune evasion through post-translational chemokine modification by dipeptidyl peptidase 4, which inhibits eosinophil-mediated antitumour responses.

    • Kirsty Minton
  • Review Article |

    Double-strand breaks in DNA generated during the normal assembly and diversification of lymphocyte antigen receptor genes or by genotoxic agents during infection activate DNA damage responses. Besides repairing damaged DNA, these responses trigger important signalling events that regulate immune cell development and function.

    • Jeffrey J. Bednarski
    •  & Barry P. Sleckman
  • Research Highlight |

    Stefan Feske and colleagues show that calcium signalling in TH17 cells promotes a pathogenic phenotype by regulating mitochondrial function and the antioxidant response.

    • Kirsty Minton
  • Review Article |

    Recent advances in systems immunology are beginning to elucidate the quantitative rules that govern cytokine-mediated cell-to-cell communication. This Review describes how combining theoretical analysis with experimental validation can lead to a better understanding of cytokine-mediated communication between cells of the immune system.

    • Grégoire Altan-Bonnet
    •  & Ratnadeep Mukherjee
  • Research Highlight |

    Natural killer cells can promote degeneration of injured axons and reduce post-injury hypersensitivity following peripheral nerve injury.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study in Science identifies nemuri (nur) as encoding a secreted factor in Drosophila that has both antimicrobial and sleep-inducing properties, thus providing a direct link between sleep homeostasis and the response to infection.

    • Kirsty Minton
  • Research Highlight |

    Having a fever helps T cells reach the site of infection, thanks to thermal sensing by heat shock proteins and induction of integrin-mediated T cell migration.

    • Lucy Bird
  • Research Highlight |

    The short-chain fatty acid butyrate, derived from commensal bacteria in the gut, is shown to be a specific inducer of intestinal macrophage microbicidal functions.

    • Alexandra Flemming
  • Research Highlight |

    Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes regulate systemic metabolism by limiting the bioavailability of GLP1.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Review Article |

    In this Review, DeNardo and Ruffell describe how macrophages shape local immune responses in the tumour microenvironment to both suppress and promote immunity to tumours. The authors also discuss the potential of targeting tumour-associated macrophages to enhance antitumour immune responses.

    • David G. DeNardo
    •  & Brian Ruffell