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The importance of dendritic cells in IgE-mediated enhancement of the T cell response


Academic year: 2022

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The importance of dendritic cells in IgE-mediated enhancement of the T cell response

Marius Linkevičius

A protective immune response develops once the human body is invaded by foreign

substances like viruses, bacteria, parasites or allergens. The key role in this process is played by gatekeeper cells – dendritic cells (DCs) that introduce the foreign antigens to our own guard cells – T and B lymphocytes and the latter ones take care of the infection.

In one way or the other, the immune response involves the production of antibodies. It was noticed that once antibody is injected into the body together with antigen, the immune response can be highly enhanced or greatly suppressed. It appears that the rise or drop in the immune response depends on the type of antibody and antigen.

Figure 1. DC as an antigen presenting cell in IgE-mediated enhancement of immune responses.

IgE-antigen complex is captured by CD23 receptor on follicular B cell in the circulation and (a) is transported into spleen, where follicular B cell transfers the antigen on DC (b). DC processes the antigen and presents the peptides on MHC II molecules to naive T helper cells (c). T helper cells start to

proliferate (d) and interact with antigen specific B cells (e). Activated antigen specific B cells start antibody production (f). DC – dendritic cell.

It is characteristic that immunoglobulin E (IgE) together with a soluble antigen up-regulates the immune response. The necessity of DCs in this immunoregulatory pathway of IgE was investigated in this study. According to the proposed chain of events (figure 1), the soluble antigen in complex with IgE is bound by cluster of differentiation 23 molecule (CD23), expressed on the surface of follicular B cells in the bloodstream. These B cells act as a

transport shuttle taking the IgE-antigen complex into the spleen follicles. There, the antigen is transferred to DCs, which process the antigen into peptides and load them on the surface on major histocompatibility complex II (MHC II) molecules. These molecules are recognized by antigen specific T helper cells, which start to proliferate and interact with antigen specific B



cells. T helper cells stimulate B cells and the spleen follicles become the centres of the antibody production.

An Ex vivo T cell proliferation assay was chosen as the main tool to study the DC role in IgE- mediated enhancement of immune responses. DCs were depleted in vitro using magnetic- activated cell sorting and in vivo employing the CD11c-DTR mouse model, where injection of diphtheria toxin triggers the apoptosis of DCs. Additionally, a CD23-/- mouse model was used to confirm the requirement of CD23 for activation of T helper cells. Both the results obtained from in vitro and in vivo DC depletion experiments suggest the key role of DCs in IgE- mediated activation of T helper cells.

Degree Project in Biology, Master of science (2 years), 2010 Examensarbete i biologi, 45hp till masterexamen, 2010

Biology Education Centre and Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University

Supervisors: Assistant Professor Frida Henningson-Johnson and Professor Birgitta Heyman


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