Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Designer Antibodies: Cell Repair Mechanism Promises Immune System Control

Date:
October 11, 1997
Source:
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Summary:
Mature B cells have a repair mechanism that reactivates the process of genetic recombination to replace failing lymphocytes with ones that produce the right antibodies. They can do it outside bone marrow and in response to antigen, University of Maryland researchers report in Science.

Immune system B cells are an inventive little army. When challenged by antigens- proteins produced by invaders such as bacteria - they proliferate and secreteother proteins called immunoglobulins or antibodies. The molecular structure ofthese antibodies is a perfect fit, a receptor that locks onto and disarms theenemy.

Immunologists know there is genetic machinery that generates countlesskinds of antibodies in immature B cells developing in the bone marrow, but up tonow, they believed the design process was random and independent of antigen'spresence or influence. And they thought that once B cells matured, they losttheir ability to recombine their genetic material and produce new and differentantibodies.

Not so, says Dr. Garnett Kelsoe, professor of microbiology andimmunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Mature B cells canreactivate the molecular machinery that makes new genes, which in turn designnovel antibody molecules. What's more, they can do it outside the bone marrow,in peripheral lymphoid tissues such as the spleen and lymph nodes. Even more significant is the fact that their renewed recombination of the Bcells' genetic material is antigen-driven. "The antigen in effect instructsfailing B cell to make a new, antigen-specific receptor," Kelsoe said. In otherwords, the intruder itself hands the defending army a blueprint for repairingineffective weapons against it.

"At least in theory, this means we could expand lymphocyte repertoires to meet apatient's needs," he said. For example, it should be possible to reconstitutemore quickly the damaged immune system of a cancer patient whose bone marrow hasbeen irradiated.

Kelsoe and colleagues report on their findings in the October 10 issueof the journal Science.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers, includingKelsoe, Shuhua Han, Biao Zheng, and Michiko Shimoda, and collaborators Stacey R.Dillon and Mark S. Schlissel at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,immunized mice with antigen, jumpstarting an immune reaction. Lymphocytes beganproliferating in the spleen, growing into collections of active B and T cellsknown as germinal centers. In the germinal centers, where rapid mutation produces many B cells destined tofail and die, the recombination enzymes were turned back on in failing B cells,enzymes were turned back on, causing the cells' genetic material to recombine,generating new antibodies that were a perfect fit for the antigen threateningthem.

"We now know that the recombination enzymes are being expressed again inmature B cells; we know that the genes are being rearranged, and we know thatthis mechanism actually is responding to antigen exposure," Kelsoe said.

"This appears to be a rescue mechanism for cells that have been damagedby mutation," he suggested. "The germinal center is a Darwinian microcosm, andevery potential soldier is an investment worth protecting."

Kelsoe and colleagues' research was funded in part by the NationalInstitutes of Health, the Leukemia Society of America, the Arthritis Society,the Jeanne M. and Joseph P. Sullivan Foundation and the Santa Fe Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland, Baltimore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Maryland, Baltimore. "Designer Antibodies: Cell Repair Mechanism Promises Immune System Control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971010063329.htm>.
University of Maryland, Baltimore. (1997, October 11). Designer Antibodies: Cell Repair Mechanism Promises Immune System Control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971010063329.htm
University of Maryland, Baltimore. "Designer Antibodies: Cell Repair Mechanism Promises Immune System Control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971010063329.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins