The foundation:

Identified the role of a recipient in antibody formation after vaccination

Researchers led by Dr. Santos Mañes of the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), including scientists from Fundació ACE, have discovered a new function of CCR5 that would explain why the immune system does not function properly in individuals with deficiencies in CCR5 who are facing certain viral infections or are undergoing immunotherapy treatments.

The paper, published in the EMBO Journal, shows the data obtained in an experimental vaccination model in mice. The CCR5 receptor contributes to the mobility of different types of leukocytes, including the CD4+ T lymphocytes needed to generate powerful immune responses both at the cellular level and in the production of antibodies. In addition, CCR5 is a necessary co-receptor for the AIDS virus infection.

The gene responsible for producing CCR5 may have changes in its sequence (called polymorphisms) that affect its function. This is the case of the polymorphism known as CCR5[delta]32, present in 1% of the Spanish population, whose carriers are resistant to infection by the AIDS virus (HIV), but curiously present more often lethal complications after infection by the influenza virus and the West Nile virus.

Raquel Blanco, researcher at the CNB-CSIC, explains that "in mice lacking CCR5, fewer cytokines and high affinity antibodies are produced in response to a second exposure to the antigen, that is, they do not have an efficient memory for long-term protection".

New line of research

According to the researchers, these new data could indicate that people who carry the ccr5[delta]32 polymorphism or others that affect CCR5 have poor immune responses to some viruses. They also open up a new line of research to determine whether individuals with CCR5 polymorphisms generate effective protective antibody responses after being vaccinated against viruses such as influenza or, in the future, the virus that causes COVID-19.

This work has involved, in addition to scientists from the CNB-CSIC, researchers from Fundació ACE, the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CBMSO-CSIC-UAM), the Instituto de Química Avanzada de Catalunya, the University of Freiburg, the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid, from the Hospital de Valme, from the CIBERs of hepatic and digestive diseases (CIBER-EDH) and neurodegenerative diseases (CIBERNED) and from the bioinformatics company from Seville, CAEBI.

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