Sleep could fight infections

Sleep could fight infections’

By Appolonia Adeyemi

Researchers in Germany said adequate sleep could contribute to many aspects of physical and mental well-being. According to their findings published in the ‘Journal of Experimental Medicine,’ sleep contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. The research team from the University of Tübingen in Germany found a mechanism linking sleep to the functioning of the immune system.

The study shows, according to them shows that sleep could enhance the target ability of immune cells inside human body to help fight off infection. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), stated that adequate sleep (AS), defined as seven to nine hours per night regularly for adults, was a critical factor in health and health-related behaviours.

The NSF is a United States (U.S). non-profit organisation that promotes public understanding of sleep and sleep disorders. While previous studies have shown that being sleep deprived was akin to over drinking when it comes to its effects on the brain, the recent research suggested that poor sleep increased pain sensitivity and might raise the likelihood of developing cardiovascular problems. According to the report of the current study, “This finding shows that sleep has the potential to enhance the efficiency of effector T cell responses.” Researchers said that compared with the wake condition, sleep significantly increased the mean fluorescence intensity of T cells, a type of white blood cell that fights off infection inside human body.

“Our results demonstrate that a couple of hours of sleep loss suffice to reduce the adhesion capacity of antigen-specific T cells,’’ the researchers stated. They asserted that the findings could help develop new therapeutic strategies with the aim of improving the target ability of T cells, especially when they are killing tumour cells.The ‘Medical News Today’ reported that T cells contributed to the body’s immune response when a potentially harmful foreign body enters the system.

A T cell, or T lymphocyte, is a type of lymphocyte (a subtype of white blood cell) that plays a central role in cell-medi ated immunity. These immune cells recognise pathogens then activate integrins, which are a type of protein that allows T cells to attach to and tackle their targets. The researchers noted that little was known about how T cells activate integrins, as well as what may prevent these cells from attaching to potentially compromised targets.

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