Antibodies can fight viruses from within infected cells, reported researchers who now believe that treatments could be applied to viral diseases like the common cold, “winter vomiting,” and gastroenteritis.
Previously, scientists thought that antibodies could only reduce infection by attacking viruses outside cells and by blocking their entry into cells. Once inside the cell, the body’s only defense was to destroy the cell. But protection mediated by antibodies doesn’t end at the cell membrane. It continues inside the cell to provide a last line of defense against infection.
Researchers at the U.K.’s Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology showed that cells possess a cytosolic IgG receptor, tripartite motif-containing 21 (TRIM21), which binds to antibodies with a higher affinity than any other IgG receptor in the human body. Antibodies remain attached when viruses enter healthy cells. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*