What is it about?
B cells produce antibodies and both the B cells, and the antibodies they produce, are very important in protecting us from infections. We have a very large number of different B cells so that we can recognise a large number of potential challenges. As a result of this we need a mechanism to make sure that the B cells don't recognise self - which would put us at risk of developing autoimmune disease. So during B cell development there are both negative and positive selection influences on the repertoire of possible B cells. In this review I discuss the evidence suggesting that these selective influences change in older people.
Why is it important?
We need to find ways to improve the immune system of older people. Thinking about the B cell repertoire in ageing as something that can be shaped by a failure of selective processes will lead future work on ageing B cell immunology to look carefully at the mechanisms of selection
The following have contributed to this page: Professor Deborah K Dunn-Walters
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