Tag Archives: B cells

Discovery helps explain how B cells adapt to their targets

Gitlin-b-cells-thumb2-05052014During an infection, the immune system selects B cells that produce antibodies with a high affinity for the pathogen. New research helps explain the details of how these cells are selected and amplified. More »

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First-ever images of a living immune structure shows B cells in action

When an infection strikes, B cells act as the immune system’s tag-and-release team, hunting down the invading pathogen with incredible accuracy and labeling it with antibodies that tell other immune cells to destroy it. Now, Rockefeller University researchers have found a way to peer inside the germinal centers where B cells learn to recognize their prey, and discovered that the structures are not closed factories, as most scientists previously believed, but are open, dynamic systems through which B cells continually pass. More »

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Measuring early antibody aptituteds

For the first time, a group of immunologists from the laboratory of Molecular Immunology, headed by Michel Nussenzweig, Ph.D., measured the immunity aptitude of developing B cells found in the bone marrow and blood of healthy adults. They discovered that between 55-75% of premature B cells are prone to bad behavior, or auto-reactivity. More »

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Backstage with a command performer

Some cells sing with the chorus, while others unwittingly achieve fame on their own. The immune system’s B cell is a true diva that spends its early days preparing for the ultimate audition. Its repertoire of possible antibodies to invading microbes totals 50 million. For the immune system, this repertoire means the difference between destroying a potentially lethal antigen or not. More »

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“Good Citizens” in the Immune System Carry Out State’s Orders

The difference between good and evil matters as much in the immune system, it turns out, as it does to humankind. The problem is understanding how the immune system’s cells perceive the difference. In the April 25 issue of the journal Nature, a team of researchers led by Rockefeller University immunologist Sasha Tarakhovsky, Ph.D. show that a single enzyme present in B cells may provide a major piece of the puzzle. More »

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Many Immune Cells Are Fine-tuned to Prevent “Friendly Fire”

About one-quarter of the body’s antibodies are produced by immune cells that have had their genetic code revised during a halt in their development, scientists at Rockefeller University and three other institutions have found. The study is the first to show that this phenomenon, called “receptor editing,” plays a major role in the creation of the body’s huge antibody array. More »

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