It is well-said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I have always found that a good, illustrative graphic can make a great impact upon the understanding of complex cellular pathways. And when one is visualizing dynamic processes, such as the processes occurring within the physiological system, newer technologies such as animations can be of a tremendous help. Of course, in order to be useful, it must be well-researched (so as to be scientifically accurate) as well as well-executed. This is why I was so excited about an animation depicting an immune process in the mammalian intestines presented by Nature Immunology.
Poor stem cells can’t get a break. I mean, seriously! What is it about mesenchymal (i.e. related to the mesenchyme, a kind of undifferentiated connective tissue) stem cells that makes them so attractive to all manners of deadly bugs to come and take up residence? And by deadly bugs, I mean various shades of Mycobacteria. Let me explain.
Dendritic Cells (DCs) are important members of the mammalian immune system. Working at the interface of innate and adaptive immune response, DCs are primarily antigen-presenting cells (APCs). DCs are derived from certain hematopoietic (bone-marrow derived) progenitors of either lymphoid or myeloid lineage, giving rise, respectively, to plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and myeloid DCs (mDCs) that localize to mucosal epithelium (inner lining of nose, lungs, the GI tract; also, the langerhans cells of the skin), as well as to peripheral blood.