Reference Database

Leprosy-specific B-cells within cellular infiltrates in active leprosy lesions.
Iyer, Anand M
Mohanty, Keshar K
van Egmond, Danielle
Katoch, Kiran
Faber, William R
Das, Pranab K
Sengupta, Utpal
Human pathology 2007 Jul;38: 1065-73

Leprosy is a spectral disease with polar lepromatous and tuberculoid forms correlating with enhanced humoral and cell-mediated immunity, respectively, against Mycobacterium leprae and the borderline forms, borderline lepromatous, midborderline, and borderline tuberculoid showing in-between clinical and immunological characteristics. Histopathologically, the cellular infiltrates of leprosy lesions show predominantly the presence of interacting T-cells and antigen presenting cells like macrophages, whereas the presence of B-cells has only been sporadically reported. The present study demonstrates by immunohistochemical techniques the presence of B-cells, including plasma cells, in active lesions from lepromatous leprosy, skin smear negative borderline lepromatous, and paucibacillary borderline tuberculoid leprosy. Furthermore, the study demonstrates the in situ production of M leprae-specific antibodies from BT lesions using an organotypic skin explant culture model. Finally, analysis of the cytokine release profile in supernatants of lesional organotypic skin cultures showed a microenvironment conducive to the differentiation and maturation of B-cells. The results demonstrate the presence of different functionally active B-cell stages within lesions of patients with leprosy, including borderline tuberculoid patients, which could secrete anti-M leprae-specific antibodies. However, their role in leprosy pathology remains to be elucidated.

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