NIH Research Festival
Plasma cells are long-lived, antibody-secreting cells that are critical for humoral immunity. The pronounced longevity of these cells is in large part due to their ability to reside within specialized niches in the bone marrow. Owing to the finite number of niches in the bone marrow, competition between newly generated plasmablasts and resident, non-migratory plasma cells is thought to regulate plasma cell survival and, ultimately, the duration of humoral immune responses. Because most successful vaccines are based on the generation of protective antibodies, a greater understanding of the interactions between plasma cells and their environment is needed for the rational design of vaccines. To this end, we employed multi-parameter quantitative imaging to address how niche composition influences plasma cell survival and antibody secretion. In addition, we used two-photon intravital microscopy to determine how plasma cells locate and compete for niches. Using these advanced imaging techniques, we determined that adjuvant-induced inflammation, to a sufficient degree, regulates the trafficking and survival of plasma cells in the bone marrow.
Scientific Focus Area: Immunology
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021