Determining the genetic variations that impact the age-related B-cell immune response.
B-cells are an important component of the immune system, and compromising the B-cell response to antigens leads to immunodeficiencies and diverse types of cancers. It is well documented that the B-cell immune response declines with age (refs). Understanding the genetic factors underlying the age-related decline of the B-cell immune response could lead to development of novel therapeutic approaches to improve the immune response with age. However, the genetic factors that affect this decline are not well understood, despite numerous studies addressing this question. This pilot study begins to determine whether there is a genetic component associated with the decline of the B-cell immune response, a powerful mouse genetics approach available at The Jackson Laboratory.
Determining the differences in class switching associated with age, stimuli, and gender across different strains of Mus musculus will allow future mapping of the genetic modifiers, which in turn could lead to a molecular mechanistic understanding of the decline of B-cell immune response with age. I hypothesize that differences in the age-related decline of the B-cell immune response is dependent upon strain, stimuli, and gender
Aim 1: Determine the B-cell response to class-switching stimuli.
Aim 2: Determine whether gender affects the age-related decline in the B-cell response.