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Germline-encoded autoreactive natural antibodies (NAbs) of the IgM isotype are secreted and circulate as a result of basal immune system stimulation, and constitute an important first line of defense against microorganism invasion, bridging the innate and the adaptive immune responses. NAbs are mostly secreted by positively selected B1a cells, and have been claimed to have a protective role against autoimmunity. Nevertheless, NAbs binding to cell surface self-antigens could have implications in the initiation of autoimmunity. Article I focused on the genetic control of NAbs secretion in healthy mice. Importantly, interferon regulatory factor 4 (Irf4), a transcription factor required for plasma cell differentiation and antibody secretion, was identified as the most probable candidate for the control of homeostatic serum IgM levels in the mouse. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a complex autoimmune disease that develops spontaneously in humans and is pathogenically similar in the non-obese-diabetic (NOD) mouse model. B cells are necessary in the NOD diabetogenic process, and the presence of anti-pancreatic beta cell antibodies is the earliest manifestation of T1D. Article II revealed that NOD peritoneal cavity B1a cells are more prone to spontaneously secrete NAbs that recognize pancreatic beta cell autoantigens, which could promote T1D either by enhancing professional antigen presentation of islet antigens, by activating the complement cascade or by directly promoting beta cell damage and self-antigens release. The studies reported in article III have explored these possibilities and have proven that NAbs of NOD B1a cells origin could bind and directly induce oxidative stress on pancreatic beta cells. Moreover, these studies have shown that NOD B1a cells have a lower threshold for innate-like stimulation and have established a link between NOD B1a cells properties, NAbs specificities and impact of IgM binding on beta cells physiology. Finally, article IV provides evidence that early treatment with antibodies that evoke NOD B1a cells proliferation and differentiation into IgM secreting cells correlates with T1D precipitation. In conclusion, this thesis has shown that Irf4 is a critical player in the genetic network that controls IgM secretion in healthy individuals, and that in the NOD mouse model of T1D, a lower threshold for innate like stimulation of peritoneal cavity B1a cells contributes to a naturally increased state of B1a cells activation and autoreactive IgM secretion, determining the initiation and/or contributing to the fueling of beta cells autoimmunity.

Pertenece a

UTL Repository Universidade Técnica de Lisboa   


Sá, Maria Joana Giraldes Pereira Côrte -  Real Corrêa de - 

Id.: 55204903

Idioma: eng  - 

Versión: 1.0

Estado: Final

Palabras claveAutoimmunity - 

Tipo de recurso: doctoralThesis  - 

Tipo de Interactividad: Expositivo

Nivel de Interactividad: muy bajo

Audiencia: Estudiante  -  Profesor  -  Autor  - 

Estructura: Atomic

Coste: no

Copyright: sí

: open access

Requerimientos técnicos:  Browser: Any - 

Fecha de contribución: 18-abr-2012


* SÁ, M. J. G. P. C. R. C. (2012). Natural IgM secretion in health and disease: genetic control and role in type 1 diabetes. Tese de Doutoramento. Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Lisboa.

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