The Role of Morphogens in B Cell Development

PhD Thesis

Umukoro, Cynthia Eloho 2016. The Role of Morphogens in B Cell Development. PhD Thesis University of East London Health, Sport and Bioscience
AuthorsUmukoro, Cynthia Eloho
TypePhD Thesis

Morphogens are signalling molecules that play a significant role in modulation of cell fate and development. Hedgehog proteins (Hh) are morphogens that have been shown to be involved in the development of immune cells. In this study, it is demonstrated that treatment of B cells with rShh, can increase B cell activation and also promote survival of B cells at 18hours post-stimulus. Also, at this time point, there was found to be an increase in secretion of antibody isotypes and IL-6. By 40hours post-stimulus, it was observed that the level of B cell activation was apparently arrested in treated B cells, whereas the level of activation continued to rise in untreated B cells. Interestingly, it was observed that there was an increase in the percentage of; CD23-CD25+ B cells when B cells were treated with rShh and this was accompanied by an increase in apoptosis. Consistent with this finding in relation to apoptosis, there was an increased expression of the pro-apoptotic protein Bnip3 in B cells treated with rShh by 40hours post-stimulus. It was observed that there were three subsets of B cells arising in our culture at 40hours, which were all found to possess different characteristics. It was demonstrated that treatment with rShh can increase B cell differentiation towards FO-I at 18hours post-stimulus. By 40hours post-stimulus, Hh signalling can divert differentiation away from the FO-I B cell towards the T2-MZP, which was accompanied by an increase in IL-10 secretion. Gene expression analysis revealed that Hh signalling could modulate a number of molecules involved in delivering the BCR signal into the cells such as Btk, Nfatc1 and Traf2. Additionally, deletion of Dhh, showed that there was a skewed peripheral B cell development in the Dhh-/- mice. Overall, our data demonstrate that Hh signalling can regulate the development of B cells in response to an activation stimulus by strengthening the BCR signalling pathway.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintJan 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Jun 2016
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