Molecular microbiologists have discovered that mice lacking a specific component of the immune system are completely resistant to sepsis, a potentially fatal complication of infection.
The immune system is the body's first line of defense against infection. The system, however, can also injure the body if it is not turned off after the infection is destroyed, or if it is turned on when there is no infection at all. Scientists do not yet fully understand how the immune response is turned on and off and continue to study it in hopes of harnessing its power to cure disease.
In this study, scientists have found that a component of the system, HOIL-1L, is necessary for formation of the NLRP3-ASC inflammasome signaling complex.