Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Thandi M. Onami
Mark Y.Sangster, Barry T.Rouse, Tim E. Sparer, Chunlei Su
Viruses replicating in the respiratory tract (RT) triggers a wide- range of cytokines and chemokines that have antiviral and pro-inflammatory features, instigating an efficient virus- specific B and T cell response that aids in virus- clearance. The majority of antibody secreting cells (ASCs) localizing in the upper RT secrete IgA that can effectively neutralize viruses. In addition, elements of B cell memory are generated that can provide protection from re-infection. Studies examining these aspects, following murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) infection comprise chapter 2 of the dissertation work. Our studies demonstrate that following MHV-68 infection, unlike influenza infection, resulted in a generalized deficiency of virus-specific IgA induction and deficient B cell memory establishment in the respiratory tract. The studies indicate that these aspects of B cell response are regulated by features of virus- replication in the RT. These studies lead to the speculation that these features of B cell response may represent an evolutionary adaptation of viruses that establish long-term latency and are transmitted periodically after reactivation and shedding in secretions.
Following cognate interactions with CD4+ T cells, the B cells undergo proliferation, isotype-switching and differentiate towards extrafollicular (low affinity, rapid) or germinal center pathway (high affinity). It is not clear what factors regulate these pathways of B cell differentiation, especially in the context of virus infection in the RT. Studies examining these aspects following influenza infection comprise chapter 3 of the dissertation work. Our studies establish a model for the investigation of host and viral factors that modulate the quality and effectiveness of the B cell response to influenza infection. The findings indicate that the strength of the extrafollicular B cell response depends on the nature of the infecting virus. We present evidence that this pathway of rapid antiviral antibody production relates to the production of non-specifically acting factors in the lung and also dependent of the cytokine profile of virus-specific CD4+T cells.
In summary, the current dissertation findings point out to an influence of virus and host associated factors in regulating features of B cell response in the RT.
Sundararajan, Aarthi, "Regulation of B cell response to respiratory viruses. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2011.