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Title: Characterisation of cell markers, cytokines and transcription factors involved in B cell responses from cartilaginous fish
Author: Li, Ronggai
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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Cartilaginous fish are the most ancient lineage to possess an adaptive immune system however nothing is known about the processes involved in the development, maintenance or proliferation of B cells in this group. In this thesis studies were undertaken to explore whether transcription factors, cytokines and cell surface markers that are involved in B cell immune responses in mammals are also present in cartilaginous fish. Through sequence database mining forty-one genes involved in B cell immune biology were found; of these twelve were B cell transcription factors. The presence of important B cell transcription factors, such as EBF1, pax5, E2A, Blimp1, PU.1 and Bcl6 suggests that B cells in cartilaginous fish probably undergo a similar developmental pathway as those in mammals. Eight cytokines, eleven cytokine receptors and four B cell surface markers were also identified, including CD40L, BAFF and CD79α that were further studied in this thesis. I cloned CD40L and BAFF from cartilaginous fish, both members of the tumour necrosis factor family and found cartilaginous fish BAFF genes have an extra exon that forms a unique α-helix insertion, and which may impact on receptor binding. The importance of all three molecules for the adaptive immune response was indicated by relatively high expression in shark immune tissue, such as spleen, gut-associated lymphoid tissue, gill and the Leydig organ, and the fact that their expression could be induced by immunostimulants, such as pokeweed mitogen. The finding that CD79α expression significantly correlates with those of immunoglobulin heavy-chains and the co-expression of CD79α and IgM on the B cell surface indicate that as in mammals CD79α in cartilaginous fish is expressed by B cells and associates with surface-bound immunoglobulin to form the active B cell receptor. Thus CD79α may serve as a pan B cell marker in future immunological studies in cartilaginous fish.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) ; Pfizer
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Molecular cloning ; Gene expression ; Chondrichthyes ; B cells