The blog of Dr Jon Lieff explores the interface of biology, neurology, and the mind.

RSS Feed
  • T cells have elaborate communication with almost all other cells. They are the master regulators of the immune system. But, they also converse with brain cells, blood vessel cells, and lining cells of the gut and skin. Previous posts have described communication with T cells and ...
  • As technology increases our capacity to observe tiny biological systems, communication among cells has been observed with ramifications everywhere in biology. Up until recently, it has been very difficult to observe the behavior of individual cells everywhere in the body, but esp ...
  • Cancers demonstrate that communication among a variety of wide cell types is vital to their survival. Cancers are able to convert many local supportive cells to become comrades in initiation, support, growth, and metastasis of the cancer. It is remarkable how they can trick imm ...
  • Human tissues that are exposed directly to the outside environment include the skin, the gut, and the lungs. In all of these, unique cells must deal with the complexity of exposure to toxins and many kinds of microbes. As with the gut and the skin, the path of air into the lungs ...
  • All of life is based on interactions of signaling entities—communities, people, organs, cells, and even viruses. Remarkable progress has been made in deciphering the conversations between cells, but it is much harder to track signals among organelles. Observation is much more d ...
  • White blood cells (also named leukocytes) are called into action with microbe attacks and tissue damage of all kinds. They use very specific modes of travel to the inflammation site, spurred by the signals of capillaries, tissue cells, and other immune cells (these have been desc ...
  • Neurons are vital for many processes not previously associated with them. Neurons can stimulate all of the symptoms of inflammation and use these mechanisms for neuroplasticity. Complex interactions of inflammation and cancer are now coming into focus and neurons are an important ...
  • Conversations among cells are the basis of all life. Important signaling occurs between immune cells, tissue cells, and brain cells. One of the most active and vital type of communication occurs among the cells that form the lining of organs and the matrix cells that form the con ...
  • T cells are vital to fighting all types of invaders and to fix trauma using cytokine signals, physical attack, and various forms of inflammation. They either directly attack cells to kill them, influence the development of many different kinds of inflammation by orchestrating oth ...
  • Cancer cells have elaborate communication among the cells in their developing community. They also converse with many other tissue cells—vascular, immune, and supportive cells nearby are cajoled into collaboration. Cancer cells signal in the same way a bacterial community does ...
  • The previous post described current understanding of the complexities of barriers that guard the brain. What is becoming clear is that all of the different compartments, and barriers, have differing characteristics—blood brain barrier, choroid cells, blood-CSF barrier, dura, su ...
  • It has been thought that the brain doesn’t have typical immune responses—it has been called “immune privileged.” With the discovery of the dual role of microglia as supportive glia brain cells and resident immune cells, this view changed somewhat. Then it was discovered t ...

email