Navigation Links
Scientists learn the origin of rogue B cells

Doctors have long wondered why, in some people, the immune system turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect, leading to autoimmune disease. Now, researchers at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), in collaboration with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, have provided some new clues into one likely factor: the early development of immune system cells called B cells.

B cells are formed in the bone marrow and produce antibodies. Antibodies are generated from the cutting and splicing of immunoglobulin genes early in B-cell development, and have the potential to develop strong and highly specific affinity for different pathogens. When an infectious pathogen (a disease-causing agent) enters the body, B cells are activated and release antibodies into the bloodstream to combat the pathogen. When antibodies encounter the pathogen, they bind to it, rendering it incapable of causing further harm. Antibody molecules also serve as receptors on the surface of B cells.

The problem occurs when the random cutting and splicing of immunoglobulin genes results in an antibody that recognizes a component of one's own body. While the body has a built-in mechanism to correct these errant cells, the NIAMS researchers discovered this doesn't always work the way it was intended. "What happens is that, if the body ever produces a cell with a self-reactive antibody molecule, that cell will get arrested in development at the point where it is actually combining and creating an antibody receptor," says Rafael Casellas, Ph.D., an investigator in NIAMS's Genomic Integrity and Immunity Group. Often, rather than killing off the cell, the body edits ?or corrects ?the receptor, like one might edit a paper, he says. In normal circumstances, this new, good receptor replaces the bad one, but what Casellas and Dr. Patrick C. Wilson of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation found was that about 10 percent of the body's B cells retain both receptors: a good, useful one and the faulty self-reactive one that the good receptor was designed to replace. This means that the aberrant B cells have escaped the body's mechanism to correct them. "Our research goes against the theory that B cells should only express a single receptor," says Casellas.

Using a technique in which they inserted a piece of human gene into the cells of laboratory mice, the researchers created a model for visualizing the process in live animals. "Most of what scientists do is to create systems to visualize complex phenomena, then to allow nature to give you the answers to your questions," says Casellas.

Their new findings raise the question of how this knowledge might eventually help people with autoimmune disease. That question, says Casellas, is one that will take time to answer. "This is only one step," he says. "We all carry these cells around, but not all of us develop autoimmunity. Our work provides one explanation for the origin of these self-reactive B cells."

"If you understood the system extremely well and were able to delete the editing cells during development, for instance, then you would only have lymphocytes that don't express self-receptors at all," he says.

For now, the step forward to understand where these self-directed cells are coming from is a big one. "Our objective is to understand the ins and outs of this process," says Casellas.


'"/>

Source:NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
5. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
6. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
7. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
8. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
9. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
10. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
11. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Rising sales of ... global touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... sales of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements ... size through 2020   --> ... new technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer ... quarter ended December 31, 2015. --> ... 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year ... 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... SEATTLE , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, ... biotech, pharma and publication industries, will provide the data ... Phenotypic Screening Centre (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis ... even whole organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 NX Prenatal Inc., a US ... technology for early warning of adverse pregnancy outcomes, ... study by Dr. Thomas McElrath of ... Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) annual meeting held in ... 2016.  The presentation reported initial positive top-line results ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... -- IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a medical technology company ... for the treatment of prostate, brain, lung, head and ... for the second quarter and six months of fiscal ... --> --> Revenue was $1.19 ... ended December 31, 2015, a 12% increase compared to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, ... the promotion of two long-standing principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief ... and Development. , Dr. Laurence Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... expansion to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalinkā„¢ remote monitoring. The inaugural ... procedures performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU ...
Breaking Biology Technology: