The B-cell receptor (BCR) for antigen is a key sensor required for B-cell development, survival, and activation. Rigorous selection checkpoints ensure that the mature B-cell compartment in the periphery is largely purged of self-reactive B cells. However, autoreactive B cells escape selection and persist in the periphery as anergic or clonally ignorant B cells. Under the influence of genetic or environmental factors, which are not completely understood, autoreactive B cells may be activated. Similar activation can also occur at different stages of B-cell maturation in the bone marrow or in peripheral lymphoid organs and give rise to malignant B cells. The pathology that typifies neoplastic lymphocytes and autoreactive B cells differs: malignant B cells proliferate and occupy niches otherwise taken up by healthy leukocytes or erythrocytes, while autoreactive B cells produce pathogenic antibodies or present self-antigen to T cells. However, both malignant and autoreactive B cells share the commonality of deregulated BCR pathways as principal contributors to pathogenicity. We first summarize current views of BCR activation. We then explore how anomalous BCR pathways correlate with malignancies and autoimmunity. We also elaborate on the activation of TLR pathways in abnormal B cells and how they contribute to maintenance of pathology. Finally, we outline the benefits and emergence of mouse models generated by somatic cell nuclear transfer to study B-cell function in manners for which current transgenic models may be less well suited.
Valency requirements for B cell activation upon antigen encounter are poorly understood. OB1 transnuclear B cells express an IgG1 B cell receptor (BCR) specific for ovalbumin (OVA), the epitope of which can be mimicked using short synthetic peptides to allow antigen-specific engagement of the BCR. By altering length and valency of epitope-bearing synthetic peptides, we examined the properties of ligands required for optimal OB1 B cell activation. Monovalent engagement of the BCR with an epitope-bearing 17-mer synthetic peptide readily activated OB1 B cells. Dimers of the minimal peptide epitope oriented in an N to N configuration were more stimulatory than their C to C counterparts. Although shorter length correlated with less activation, a monomeric 8-mer peptide epitope behaved as a weak agonist that blocked responses to cell-bound peptide antigen, a blockade which could not be reversed by CD40 ligation. The 8-mer not only delivered a suboptimal signal, which blocked subsequent responses to OVA, anti-IgG, and anti-kappa, but also competed for binding with OVA. Our results show that fine-tuning of BCR-ligand recognition can lead to B cell nonresponsiveness, activation, or inhibition.
B-cell lymphoma in children accounts for about 10% of all pediatric malignancies. Chemotherapy has been very successful leading to an over-all 5-year survival between 80 and 90% depending on lymphoma type and extent of disease. Therapeutic toxicity remains high calling for better targeted and thus less toxic therapies. Therapeutic antibodies have become a standard element of B-cell lymphoma therapy in adults. Clinical experience in pediatric lymphoma patients is still very limited. This review outlines the rationale for antibody treatment of B-cell lymphomas in children and describes potential target structures on B-cell lymphoma cells. It summarizes the clinical experience of antibody therapy of B-cell lymphoma in children and gives an outlook on new developments and challenges for antibody therapy of pediatric B-cell lymphoma.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease leading to profound disability and premature death. Although a role for FcgammaRs and TLRs is accepted, their precise involvement remains to be elucidated. FcgammaRIIb is an inhibitory FcR important in the maintenance of tolerance. We hypothesized that the inhibitory FcgammaRIIb inhibits TLR responses on monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) and serves as a counterregulatory mechanism to dampen inflammation, and we surmised that this mechanism might be defective in RA. The expression of the inhibitory FcgammaRIIb was found to be significantly higher on DCs from RA patients having low RA disease activity in the absence of treatment with antirheumatic drugs. The expression of activating FcgammaRs was similarly distributed among all RA patients and healthy controls. Intriguingly, only DCs with a high expression of FcgammaRIIb were able to inhibit TLR4-mediated secretion of proinflammatory cytokines when stimulated with immune complexes. In addition, when these DCs were coincubated with the combination of a TLR4 agonist and immune complexes, a markedly inhibited T cell proliferation was apparent, regulatory T cell development was promoted, and T cells were primed to produce high levels of IL-13 compared with stimulation of the DCs with the TLR4 agonist alone. Blocking FcgammaRIIb with specific Abs fully abrogated these effects demonstrating the full dependence on the inhibitory FcgammaRIIb in the induction of these phenomena. This TLR4-FcgammaRIIb interaction was shown to dependent on the PI3K and Akt pathway.
Looking at chart records bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as a psychotic disorder but no study has ever systematically looked into the reasons. One reason for misdiagnoses could be that clinicians use heuristics like the prototype approach in routine practice instead of strictly adhering to the diagnostic criteria. Using an experimental approach we investigated if the use of heuristics can explain when a diagnosis of psychotic disorder is given instead of bipolar disorder. We systematically varied information about the presence or absence of specific symptoms, i.e. hallucinations and decreased need for sleep during a manic episode.
C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) expressed on APCs play a pivotal role in the immune system as pattern-recognition and antigen-uptake receptors. In addition, they may signal directly, leading to cytokine production and immune modulation. To this end, some CLRs, like dectin-1 and dendritic cell immunoreceptor (DCIR), contain intracellular ITIMs or ITAMs. In this study, we explored expression and function of the ITIM-containing CLR DCIR on professional APCs. DCIR is expressed on immature and mature monocyte-derived DCs (moDC) but also on monocytes, macrophages, B cells, and freshly isolated myeloid and plasmacytoid DCs. We show that endogenous DCIR is internalized efficiently into human moDC after triggering with DCIR-specific mAb. DCIR internalization is clathrin-dependent and leads to its localization in the endo-/lysosomal compartment, including lysosome-associated membrane protein-1+ lysosomes. DCIR triggering affected neither TLR4- nor TLR8-mediated CD80 and CD86 up-regulation. Interestingly, it did inhibit TLR8-mediated IL-12 and TNF-alpha production significantly, and TLR2-, TLR3-, or TLR4-induced cytokine production was not affected. Collectively, the data presented characterize DCIR as an APC receptor that is endocytosed efficiently in a clathrin-dependent manner and negatively affects TLR8-mediated cytokine production. These data provide further support to the concept of CLR/TLR cross-talk in modulating immune responses.
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