Now that we have been able to identify this regulatory B cell subset, we have already developed treatments that deplete these cells in mice. We are moving to translate these findings to benefit people, he said.
The discovery of the ability to identify this potent regulatory cell type should provide important clues to how the immune system regulates itself in response to vaccines as well as infectious agents, says Barton F. Haynes, M.D., leader of the international Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), a consortium of universities and academic medical centers, and director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. This information should enable researchers to design ways to help the immune system control infections more effectively, and could be a useful advance as we refine approaches to preventing HIV infection.
Theres a huge initiative underway to look at regulatory T cells in autoimmune disease, HIV infection, and cancer therapy, Tedder said. What we have also shown is that it is not only regulatory T cells, but also regulatory B cells that could prevent a person from making effective immune responses in HIV and many other diseases, particularly cancer.
The Duke researchers developed a way to mark the B10 cells so that they could see that just these cells were producing IL-10. Previously, scientists could only purify a population of B cells and see whether IL-10 could be produced by some of these cells in the population.
In this study, they found that the B10 cells represented only 1-2 percent of all of the B cells in the spleen of a normal mouse. Before this, no one had definitively identified this B cell subset or such regulatory B cells in normal mice, although B cell regulatory function had been described in some genetically altered mice with chronic inflammation.
In this study, we could directly look at the B cells that were producing IL-10, and figure out what their
|Contact: Mary Jane Gore|
Duke University Medical Center