Scientists from La Trobe University, including cell biologist Ivan Poon, have captured the process of white cell death on camera for the first time, providing valuable insight that could help to improve future medical treatments.
White blood cells, which act as soldiers within the body’s immune system, have remained mysterious to scientists, particularly when it came to how they die. The La Trobe team, using time-lapse microscopy, captured the process for the first time, observing a dying cell change shape a number of times before dramatically ejecting its contents, almost like an explosion.
The theory emerging from the discovery is that white blood cells may do this as a way to warn neighbouring cells that something may be amiss in the body, triggering a greater immune response.
The findings are important in understanding more of the underlying processes and mechanics of the body’s immune system, which could help scientists design better, more effective drugs in the future.
[img source] La Trobe University
The above story is based on materials provided by La Trobe University