The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Differences between human and primate immune systems

Critical differences between the human immune system and that of other primates, such as chimpanzees and rhesus macaques, lead to humans being more susceptible to a number of infectious agents including HIV and malaria. Now, the first genome-wide functional comparison in chimps, macaques and humans reveals changes in immune system gene expression that could explain these differences1.

Luis Barreiro and colleagues at the University of Chicago took monocytes from the three species and stimulated them with lipopolysaccharide, which mimics bacterial infection. They used microarrays to measure changes in gene expression, and found that while a ‘core’ response was strongly conserved, the human cells increased expression of genes involved in cancer pathways, the B cell receptor signaling pathway and apoptosis-related pathways, among others. Chimpanzee cells, however, increased expression of genes that interact with HIV, potentially explaining why chimps do not routinely develop AIDS after HIV/SIV infection.

I spoke with Luis over Skype, and asked him about the implications of the work, how he got interested, and what he plans to do next. Hear what he said in this short video:
By Richard P. Grant

Story Credit and Video here

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