Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Microbiota drives airway IgA class switch via DC-derived TGF-β

IgA is a class of antibody specifically designed for protection and tolerance at mucosal surfaces. Since vast majority of antigens [both infectious or noninfectious nature] interact with mucosal tissues, knowledge of signals controlling IgA production would help to develop more robust vaccination protocols.

So I decided to review this paper from Journal of Experimental Medicine where the authors have analysed IgA promoting capacity of lung DCs.

Most experiments were done ex vivo on sorted DC and B cells. Most cultures included α-IgM and α-CD40 antibody to "mimic" T-dependent Ab production. First, the authors noticed that lung CD103+ and CD24+ DCs (but not CD64+ Mφ) could provide necessary signals to naive B cells to switch to IgA (similar to MLN DCs).

Next, the authors found that this IgA switch capacity of lung CD103+ and CD24+ DCs  were dependent of their ability to produce TGF-β and Retinoic Acid (Vitamin A metabolites).

Next, the authors found that microbiota influenced lung DCs capacity to drive IgA switch in naive B cells [though it is not clear whether it is airway or gut microbiota that does it].

Follow up experiments revealed that MyD88/TRIF signaling [most likely from microbiota] in lung DC cells increased TGF-β production and their IgA switch potential.

Finally, the authors showed that i.n (intra-nasal) or i.t. (intra-tracheal) immunization [but not s.c. immunization] with small dose of cholera toxin (CT) provided system-wide protection against cholera toxin re-challenge, implying body-wide re-distribution of airway primed CT-specific B cells.

In summary, this study showed the role of microbiota/MyD88/TGF-β/CD103+ DCs axis in driving airway mucosal IgA class switch.

David Usharauli

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