FLIX PRODUCTIONS MEDICAL ANIMATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FLIX PRODUCTIONS MEDICAL ANIMATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of the mechanism of the toll-like receptor immune response. The blood contains circulating white blood cells, which bear Toll-like receptors (green) on their surface. These are receptors that are specialised to detect a specific molecule called a lipopolysaccharide (or LPS, purple), which is found in the cells walls of pathogenic bacteria (yellow). When the receptors binds to the LPS, the cell releases large amounts of cytokines (red). The cytokines are hormone-like proteins that act to attract macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that engulf and destroy pathogens, helping to prevent serious infection. The 2011 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Bruce Beutler and Jules A Hoffman for their work on identifying the mammalian toll-like receptor.
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