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Discovery of mechanisms triggering excess antibody production during chronic infection

Date:
July 12, 2016
Source:
INRS
Summary:
Some autoimmune diseases and persistent infections are characterized by high levels of antibodies in the blood. But what are the causes of this hypergammaglobulinemia? Medical researchers have successfully identified the mechanisms triggering the phenomenon. For the first time ever, they have established a link between B-cell activation by a protein -- type 1 interferon -- and unusually high antibody levels.
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Some autoimmune diseases and persistent infections are characterized by high levels of antibodies in the blood. But what are the causes of this hypergammaglobulinemia? A team headed by INRS's Professor Simona Stäger has successfully identified the mechanisms triggering the phenomenon. For the first time ever, she has established a link between B-cell activation by a protein -- type 1 interferon -- and unusually high antibody levels.

The team has also discovered that a parasite can directly activate B cells -- the cells responsible for producing unusually high antibody levels. Until now, there has been no evidence that B cells can be directly stimulated by the parasite known to cause visceral leishmaniasis, a neglected and often lethal tropical disease also characterized by high levels of antibodies.

How do Leishmania donovani parasites set off this harmful immune reaction? Proteins known as endosomal TLRs (toll-like receptors) recognize the parasites as pathogens, triggering proinflammatory responses.

"In the case at hand, TLRs induce the secretion of interleukin-10 proteins that reduce immune responses and type 1 interferons that increase B-cell antibody production. The fact that type 1 interferons contribute to hypergammaglobulinemia induction was completely unknown," explains Professor Stäger.

Of particular interest is the fact that activation pathways may play a role in other diseases characterized by rising antibody levels that exacerbate conditions. This is a major lead as this poorly understood phenomenon causes immune reactions and other immune pathologies.


Story Source:

Materials provided by INRS. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sasha Silva-Barrios, Mélina Smans, Claudia U. Duerr, Salman T. Qureshi, Jörg H. Fritz, Albert Descoteaux, Simona Stäger. Innate Immune B Cell Activation by Leishmania donovani Exacerbates Disease and Mediates Hypergammaglobulinemia. Cell Reports, 2016; 15 (11): 2427 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.028

Cite This Page:

INRS. "Discovery of mechanisms triggering excess antibody production during chronic infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160712173309.htm>.
INRS. (2016, July 12). Discovery of mechanisms triggering excess antibody production during chronic infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160712173309.htm
INRS. "Discovery of mechanisms triggering excess antibody production during chronic infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160712173309.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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