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Mechanisms Triggering High Antibody Production During Chronic Infection

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  July 14, 2016 at 9:02 AM Research News   - G J E 4
Hypergammaglobulinemia refers to a condition wherein there are high levels of antibodies in the blood. Some autoimmune diseases and persistent infections are characterized by hypergammaglobulinemia. But what are the causes of this hypergammaglobulinemia?
 Mechanisms Triggering High Antibody Production During Chronic Infection
Mechanisms Triggering High Antibody Production During Chronic Infection
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A team headed by INRS's Professor Simona Stager 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.

‘A link between B-cell activation by a protein - type 1 interferon - and unusually high antibody levels has been established by researchers.’
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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 Stager. 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.

Source: Eurekalert
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