Selective regulation of IgE antibody responses by B cell receptor signalling


  • Dr Pavel Tolar

    University College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

Allergies trouble almost half of the UK populations and can result in life-threatening situations. They are caused by an over-reaction of our immune system to harmless substances, such as foods or pollen. At the centre of these reactions are IgE antibodies produced by immune cells called B lymphocytes. Normally, B lymphocytes making IgE are rare and function only for a few days. However, in allergic people, allergens stimulate large numbers of these cells, which persist for months. We have recently found a regulatory circuit in IgE-making B lymphocytes that hard-wires them to shut down soon after their generation. We think that if this protective circuit fails, increased production of IgE can cause allergy. We will test this by investigating the function of the genes underlying this circuit, and the consequences of their mutations in allergy models. The results can inspire new strategies to eliminate IgE-producing cells for therapy.