Selected articles June 2015
New insights into the role of B10 cells in Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome
Effects of Wiskott–Aldrich Syndrome Protein Deficiency on IL-10-Producing Regulatory B Cells in Humans and Mice
H.-Q. Du, X. Zhang, Y.-F. An, Y. Ding and X.-D. Zhao
In this paper a group from China show that Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASp) deficiency adversely affects the homeostasis of B10 cells in both humans and mice. This may cause an imbalance in the frequency of Th1 cells and regulatory T cells, resulting in a pro-inflammatory environment.
WASp is an important regulator of the actin cytoskeleton and is required for immune cell function. A mutation in the WAS gene causes Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS), an X-linked primary immunodeficiency disease. WASp deficiency leads to a reduction in the number of transitional type 2 marginal zone precursor and marginal zone B cells.
In this paper the group set out to investigate if WASp deficiency also lead to a reduction of regulatory B cells, known as B10 cells, a reduction that could contribute to the autoimmunity of WAS-patients. Looking both at patients and WASp knock out mice they found that the percentage of B10 cells was reduced in both mice and patients.
Hong-qiang Du is a master degree candidate in the group of professor Zhao and the first author of this paper.
–When looking at B10 cell frequency we found that they are decreased in many tissue compartments, indicating a global effect of WASp deficiency on B10 cells, which is very striking he says.
In the mouse experiments the group used old WASp KO mice with spontaneous autoimmune colitis instead of WASp KO mice with induced inflammatory status and found an imbalance of Th1/Treg ratio, possibly due to defective B10 cells,
– This is another important finding I think, Hong-qiang Du says.
Autoimmunity in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome has long been an intriguing field of research.
– I believe that there are missing parts in the picture of cellular mechanism underneath this phenomenon, Hong-qiang Du says.
During the design of the research and writing of the manuscript Hong-qiang Du got a comprehensive and detailed understanding of autoimmune disease and autoimmunity in WAS, leading him towards his master degree.
Cytokines and chemokines in the pathogenesis of malaria during pregnancy
Effects of Pregnancy-associated Malaria on T Cell Cytokines in Cameroonian Women
R. Megnekou, A. Lissom, J. D. Bigoga and J. C. Djontu
Here a Cameroonian group of scientists has studied this effects of pregnancy-associated malaria on Th1, IL-10 family Th17 cytokines and on CXCL-10 chemokine profiles in pregnant woman. They find that during pregnancy-associated malaria the IFN-gamma inducible protein 10, CXCL-10 and IL-10 biomarkers are implicated in the pathogenesis while Th17 and Th1 immune responses, via IL-17A and IFN-gamma might play protective roles.
Infection with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparium during pregnancy of often cause severe maternal and neonatal outcomes, which sometimes are influenced by pregnancy-induced changes in cytokine and chemokine levels. Thus, this study sought to understand the contributions of such cytokines and chemokines on the pathogenesis of pregnancy-associated malaria.
The cross-sectional study was carried out at the Marie Reine Health Centre in Etoudi, Yaoundé, Cameroon with Dr Rosette Megnekou as the head of the research group.
– I conceived, analysed and interpreted the results and drafted and reviewed the final manuscript for important intellectual content she says.
The findings from this study should provide additional clues to the development of therapeutic and preventive interventions for malaria in pregnancy.