Regulatory and IgE+ B Cells in Allergic Asthma
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Allergic asthma is triggered by inhalation of environmental allergens resulting in bronchial constriction and inflammation, which leads to clinical symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Asthmatic airway inflammation is initiated by inflammatory mediators released by granulocytic cells. However, the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody is necessary for the initiation of the allergic cascade, and IgE is produced and released exclusively by memory B cells and plasma cells. Acute allergen exposure has also been shown to increase IgE levels in the airways of patients diagnosed with allergic asthma; however, more studies are needed to understand local airway inflammation. Additionally, regulatory B cells (Bregs) have been shown to modulate IgE-mediated inflammatory processes in allergic asthma pathogenesis, particularly in mouse models of allergic airway disease. However, the levels and function of these IgE+ B cells and Bregs remain to be elucidated in human models of asthma. The overall objective for this chapter is to provide detailed methodological, and insightful technological advances to study the biology of B cells in allergic asthma pathogenesis. Specifically, we will describe how to investigate the frequency and function of IgE+ B cells and Bregs in allergic asthma, and the kinetics of these cells after allergen exposure in a human asthma model.
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