Previously undetected population complexity found in human lymphoid tissue B cells

  • March 18, 2022
Previously undetected population complexity found in human lymphoid tissue B cells

Deep analysis of human marginal zone B cells could improve scientists’ understanding of lupus nephritis, study by Jacqueline Siu finds

B cells produce antibodies and play a vital role in human immunity. Despite the importance of these cells, there are still a lot of questions about the role of B cells in normal human tissues and how they are involved in various diseases.

Gates Cambridge Scholar Jacqueline Siu’s study, Two subsets of human marginal zone B cells resolved by global analysis of lymphoid tissues and blood, is published this week in Science Immunology and reveals new insights into B cells and the role they play in disease.

The collaboration, led by Professor Jo Spencer (KCL), undertook a deep analysis of B cells in human lymphoid tissues from deceased organ donors. They found populations of B cells that had not been seen before and that are impacted differently in patients with the autoimmune disease lupus nephritis. The researchers identified the importance of understanding what drives B cell subsets along different differentiation pathways and the significance of changes in differentiation pathways in disease states.

Jacqueline [2016], who did her PhD at Cambridge in the Department of Surgery [Transplantation], says: “Human tissue research benefits from the advent of single cell technologies and novel analysis pipelines where we can uncover unprecedented fundamental features of human immunity in health and disease.”

The research is a result of a collaboration between University of Cambridge, King’s College London, Biomedical research centre flow and genomics core. The work was funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust.

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