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Claire de Thoisy-Méchin

Press Relations

Tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 23 34

Email: claire.de_thoisy-mechin@upmc.fr


In English:

Katherine Tyrka

International Press Relations

tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 51 05

Email: katherine.tyrka@upmc.fr

Regulating or stimulating our antibodies according to our immune needs will soon be possible

A new mechanism for regulating the production of antibodies has been highlighted by researchers from Pierre and Marie Curie University and Inserm, in collaboration with the biotherapies department of the Hospital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière* (part of the Paris Public Hospital System). The results of this new study, was published in Science Immunology on Friday, September 8, 2017.

The immune system defends the organism against infectious pathogens that are responsible for lesions or diseases in humans. Two types of defense coexist: cellular immunity, which destroys infected cells, and humoral immunity that produces antibodies. These antibodies neutralize pathogens specifically. "Like any immune response, the humoral immune response needs to be controlled. Too weak a response would be ineffective, and too strong a response to our own tissues could lead to autoimmune diseases," explains UPMC Professor David Klatzmann, director of the Immunology - Immunopathology - Immunotherapeutics Laboratory** and responsible for the Biotherapies Unit at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital.

Professor David Klatzmann's team focused on the cells responsible for controlling the intensity of the humoral response: T follicular helper (Tfh) cells that stimulate antibody production and T follicular regulatory cells (Tfr) that decrease production. Tfr cells were discovered in 2011. They are few in number and their action mechanisms are little known at this stage. The research team initially redefined the characteristics to identify the Tfrs. On this basis, the researchers were able to identify a new regulation mechanism in the production of antibodies. They thus show the key role of interleukin-1 (IL-1), a soluble mediator, to trigger these responses. Tfh cells capture IL-1, which activates them and increases the antibody response; conversely, Tfr cells decrease the antibody response by neutralizing IL-1 and depriving the Tfh cells of this stimulation.

IL-1 seems to play a major role in stimulating humoral immunity via Tfh, and to be regulated by the Tfr. "We seek to stimulate the antibody response in immunization, or to reduce it in autoimmune diseases," says Professor Klatzmann. "This discovery therefore means that we have a new method to regulate the immune response via antibodies."

The complete article can be found in Science Immunology. Nouvelle fenêtre


* Part of the Paris Public Hospital System

** A co-supervised UPMC/Inserm laboratory

For more information


Tfr cells lack IL-2R but express decoy IL-1R2 and IL-1Ra and suppress the IL-1–dependent activation of Tfh cells, dans Science Immunology du 08/09/17 - Paul-Gydeon G. Ritvo, Guillame Churlaud, Valentin Quiniou, Laura Florez, Faustine Brimaud, Gwladys Fourcade, Encarnita Mariotti-Ferrandiz, David Klatzmann

Le laboratoire immunologie - immunopathologie - immunothérapeutique Nouvelle fenêtre