Tanyaporn (Oom) Pattarabanjird, a graduate student in the McNamara lab, reports in Nature Cardiovascular Research on her discovery of the human B cell subtype that produces antibody to target and inactivate inflammatory atherosclerotic antigens.
Atherosclerosis has emerged as a chronic inflammatory disease fueled by neoantigens formed by modification of self proteins, such as the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL). Yet, the identity of the cell responsible for producing these protective antibodies in human has remained elusive. In the most recent edition of the journal, Oom describes novel findings using single cell protein and gene analysis of human circulating immune cells in individuals with severe compared to those with little to no coronary artery disease. She identified that the frequency of the CD24hi Marginal Zone B cells is significantly associated with high levels of the atheroprotective IgM to MDA-LDL, she went on to show that these cells produce IgM to MDA-LDL in vivo using humanized mice. Inhibition of CD24 using genetic approaches or the blocking antibody being studied in clinical trials for cancer, resulted in reduced IgM production and increase in vascular inflammation. Her findings have important implications for potential new therapy development using cells, antibodies, and vaccines for atherosclerosis.
The full text of the article, titled “Human circulating CD24hi marginal zone B cells produce IgM targeting atherogenic antigens and confer protection from vascular disease” can be found here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s44161-023-00356-1.