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Jefferson researchers mirror human response to bacterial infection and resolution in mice
Date:12/14/2011

lacking their own immune system. This resulted in development of a human immune system in these mice. These "human immune system" (HIS) mice were then infected to gauge response.

According to the authors, an analysis of spleens and lymph nodes revealed that the mice developed a population of B1b-like cells that may have fought off the infection. Researchers also observed that reduction of those B cells resulted in recurrent episodes of bacteremia, the hallmark of relapsing fever.

"The B1b cells in humans had been speculated, but never confirmed," said co-author Timothy L. Manser, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Jefferson. "We found that in mice, the B1b cell subset is critically important for resolution of this type of bacterial infection."

"This would indicate that there is a functional equivalent of the subset in humans that has not been previously recognized," he added.

The mouse model with relapsing fever recapitulates many of the clinical manifestations of the disease and has previously revealed that T cell-independent antibody responses are required to resolve the bacteria episodes. However, it was not clear whether such protective humoral responses are mounted in humans.

"It's an amazing platform that could be used to really study how the human B1 cells could work against a variety of bacterial and viral infections," said Dr. Alugupalli.


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Contact: Steve Graff
stephen.graff@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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