February 8, 2011

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology Seminar Series, Today, 3 p.m.

Peggy Kendall, M.D.
Assistant Professor of
Allergy/Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine,
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

“B Lymphocytes in Type 1 Diabetes”

Type 1 diabetes results from T cell-mediated destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in pancreatic islets. Autoreactive B lymphocytes are also required for disease, acting as critical antigen-presenting cells.

Our longterm goal is to understand the identity and function of diabetes-promoting B cells as a precursor to developing interventional targets. We have discovered that B cell receptors (BCRs) in inflamed islets have a distinct repertoire from that of the general recirculating B cell population.

A large proportion of BCRs from islets show evidence of somatic hypermutation, indicating antigen-driven selection. We are now investigating how these autoreactive B lymphocytes rely upon cell signaling for their survival and participation in disease.

We find that Bruton’s tyrosine kinase is more critical to the survival of autoreactive, than of nonautoreactive, B cells, and that this molecule can be targeted to prevent T1D.

Tuesday, Feb. 8
3 p.m.
Room 1220 MRB III

Host: Eric Sebzda, Ph.D.
Ph: 343-6050