IgM B cells important in ageing
What is it about?
"IgM memory" B cells are thought to be important because they react to bacterial polysaccharides and don't need so much help from other cells. So in the beginnings of a bacterial infection they help a lot in defence. Older people suffer more from bacterial infections than younger adults. Here we show that the "IgM memory" B cell population that we generally look at is actually made up of a few different kinds of cells. Small variations in the level of the antibody on the surface. The relative proportions of these groups changes a lot with age. Understanding what these different groups do will help us understand how to better protect older people from bacterial infections.
Why is it important?
Older people are more prone to bacterial infections, and have greater morbidity. The immune system is complex, with a large number of different cells and molecules acting in balance to protect us. This paper shows we need to look closely at "IgM memory" B cells as the culprits responsible for poor bacterial defences in ageing.
The following have contributed to this page: Professor Deborah K Dunn-Walters
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