Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New type of immune cells involved in protection against autoimmune diseases

Date:
March 20, 2014
Source:
Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
Summary:
Cells of the B cell lineage have been primarily known for their unique capacity to differentiate into antibody-secreting plasma cells. Antibodies are major mediators of humoral immunity; they can bind microbes and deliver them to immune cell types with potent antimicrobial activities. Besides this protective role, B cells can also express antibodies reacting against the body’s own structures, and subsequently act as drivers of pathogenesis in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Cells of the B cell lineage have been primarily known for their unique capacity to differentiate into antibody-secreting plasma cells. Antibodies are major mediators of humoral immunity; they can bind microbes and deliver them to immune cell types with potent antimicrobial activities. Besides this protective role, B cells can also express antibodies reacting against the body's own structures, and subsequently act as drivers of pathogenesis in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Are B cells solely pathogenic cells in autoimmune diseases? A team of scientists at the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin (DRFZ), a Leibniz Institute, has now revealed that B cells play a more complex role in immunity. In a recent study (funded by DFG, Hertie Foundation and Institut Mérieux) published in the scientific journal Nature (published online Feb 23, 2014), Ping Shen and Toralf Roch from the team of Dr. Simon Fillatreau could, together with their collaborators, demonstrate a novel role for B cells as regulators of immunity via the secretion of the molecule IL-35. By demonstrating that plasma cells were the main source of this cytokine, they challenge the established paradigm that plasma cells only mediate antigen-specific function through the production of antibodies.

Plasma cells, which are fully differentiated B cells, are the only cells capable of secreting antibodies. For this reason, they have traditionally been considered as professional antibody factories, and due to their extreme specialization, it had been assumed that they were devoid of any other immune function. The antibodies produced by a given plasma cell are highly specific and directed against one single antigen, thus typically protecting against one type of pathogen.

Besides differentiating into antibody-secreting plasma cells, it has been known that B cells can also have antibody-independent functions. Already in 2002, Dr. Fillatreau could demonstrate for the first time that B cells play a central role in the suppression of autoimmunity by secreting the cytokine IL-10. This work pioneered the concept of so-called "regulatory B cells," that alike regulatory T cells, could dampen unwanted immune reactions and protect the host from immune-mediated pathology.

The new work from the DRFZ team, performed in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Stefan H. Kaufmann (Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany) and Prof. Stephen M. Anderton (University of Edinburgh, U.K.), further extends the parallel between regulatory T cells and so-called "regulatory B cells." They could now show that B cells also represent a crucial source for IL-35, which was known to be essential for the suppressive activity of regulatory T cells.

Mice lacking expression of IL-35 by B cells developed a markedly aggravated disease in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the primary animal model for multiple sclerosis, in comparison to mice in which B cells could produce this cytokine. Dr. Fillatreau and his colleagues then took one big step forward by searching for these B cells which are the producers of IL-35. To their surprise these cells were newly generated plasma cells that locally accumulate at the site of inflammation, observed during infection as well as in the EAE autoimmune disease model. They also showed that plasma cells were the major source of IL-10 during these diseases, evoking the existence of subsets of plasma cells with regulatory functions.

The discovery of the capability of some plasma cells to regulate immune reactions by secreting the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-35 and IL-10 breaks the paradigm that plasma cells only mediate antigen-specific function by secreting antibodies. Moreover, these findings reveal the existence of distinct subsets of plasma cells that can be identified by their production of cytokines. "This unexpected pathway of suppression and the antibody-independent functions of plasma cells could be of general importance in a broad range of diseases," says Simon Fillatreau. The results therefore open new avenues of research on the biology of plasma cells and their functional heterogeneity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ping Shen, Toralf Roch, Vicky Lampropoulou, Richard A. O’Connor, Ulrik Stervbo, Ellen Hilgenberg, Stefanie Ries, Van Duc Dang, Yarúa Jaimes, Capucine Daridon, Rui Li, Luc Jouneau, Pierre Boudinot, Siska Wilantri, Imme Sakwa, Yusei Miyazaki, Melanie D. Leech, Rhoanne C. McPherson, Stefan Wirtz, Markus Neurath, Kai Hoehlig, Edgar Meinl, Andreas Grützkau, Joachim R. Grün, Katharina Horn, Anja A. Kühl, Thomas Dörner, Amit Bar-Or, Stefan H. E. Kaufmann, Stephen M. Anderton, Simon Fillatreau. IL-35-producing B cells are critical regulators of immunity during autoimmune and infectious diseases. Nature, 2014; 507 (7492): 366 DOI: 10.1038/nature12979

Cite This Page:

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin. "New type of immune cells involved in protection against autoimmune diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320101108.htm>.
Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin. (2014, March 20). New type of immune cells involved in protection against autoimmune diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320101108.htm
Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin. "New type of immune cells involved in protection against autoimmune diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320101108.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
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