Experimental model of autoimmunity
CIR researchers study how a specific type of interaction between T and B cells of the immune system may cause pathology, including autoimmune disease.
T - B collaboration gone astray - when friends become enemies
CIR scientists in the Bogen group and Munthe group have identified and study a novel and interesting type of interaction between T and B cells. T cells and B cells are central players in our adaptive immune system with the capacity to recognize practically any structure e.g. foreign molecules derived from bacteria or viruses.
However, these cells can also recognize self-antigens. Disorders mediated by an immune response directed towards our own tissues, self-antigens, are known as autoimmune diseases.
T cells can recognize so called idiotypic (Id) peptides, derived from the variable region of immunoglobulins, presented on the Major Histocompatibility Class II molecules on the surface of B cells. When the B cell receive help from such Id-specific T cells, and the B cell at the same time recognise a self antigen with it’s B cell receptor for antigen, the B cell, receiving these two serrate signals, will be activated, proliferate and differentiate.
This mechanism may cause chronic activation, immune dysregulation, autoimmunity and cancer development in mouse models. CIR researchers extend their studies on the basic mechanisms of this T-B collaboration and are making efforts to study this pathogenic mechanism in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (autoimmune disorder) and chronic lymphatic leukemia (cancer).