Mye-EUNITER
 
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As part of this process, instead of fighting disease, immune cells.

A Milestone for COST Action on Regulatory Immune Cells

The immune system protects us from many harmful and life-threatening infections. However, under certain conditions, immune cells can also foster the development of disease. This is for example the case in many types of cancer, chronic infection and inflammation.

Immunologists around the world have been focusing their endeavours increasingly on better understanding how a specialized cellular subset, known as myeloid regulatory cells, contributes towards disease progression and pathogenesis. However, a lack of consensus on markers, protocols and analytical methods has made it extremely difficult to study and compare the function of these cells in different diseases and experimental models.

After two years of close collaboration with experts and laboratories around Europe, the COST Action BM1404 - European Network of Investigators Triggering Exploratory Research on Myeloid Regulatory Cells (Mye-EUNITER) - has successfully initiated a European-wide study for monitoring an important myeloid subset, termed MDSC, in the peripheral blood of patients with malignant, inflammatory and infectious diseases. A standardized and harmonized analytical method is now being applied to samples at the participating research centres to generate the first truly comparative database of these cells in various human diseases.

“To the best of our knowledge this step is the first harmonized and standardized MDSC analysis initiative world-wide,” says Prof. Sven Brandau, the Action’s Chair and head of the host laboratory at the University Hospital Essen, Germany. “What is exciting about this new procedure is that very soon we will be able to accurately compare the features of myeloid cells in illnesses as diverse as for example breast or skin cancer, HIV or hepatitis infections, or inflammation induced by Psoriasis or cardiovascular disease. This knowledge is implicit for then developing ways of turning the detrimental regulatory function of myeloid cells into a promising therapeutic tool to treat these very same diseases.”

During 2017 Mye-EUNITER aims to establish similar standard operating procedures for other subsets of myeloid regulatory cells in human, murine and simian models with the goal of building an analytical correlation line. This would greatly enable the swifter translation of basic research into clinical application.

The Mye-EUNITER network includes member scientists from Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom.