B Cells Help Facilitate Healing of the Skin After Injury

Within 1 or 2 days of injury, therapeutic B cells release a complex mix of specific pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules, which can affect molecular processing and facilitate healing.

B cells could play a protective role in the context of injuries, including healing the skin and even protecting the brain, results of a study from the Vaccine Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) showed.

In a follow-up study, investigators introduced a novel mechanism called “pligodraxis,” which involves introducing a subset of B cells into a site of tissue injury undergoing specific changes in response to an injury site.

“This is one example of many in biological research where it is beneficial to keep an open mind about what certain cell types can do or not,” Ruxandra Sîrbulescu, PhD, investigator at VIC, said in the press release. “Had we not looked at B cells in this unconventional context we would have missed their ability to respond in such a complex way and interact with many different cell types in their environment to facilitate healing.”

Within 1 or 2 days of injury, therapeutic B cells release a complex mix of specific pro- and anti- inflammatory molecules, which can affect molecular processing and facilitate healing.

“These results are very exciting from the perspective of our translational medical research center, which sets as its core mission to accelerate the process by which discoveries are translated into new immunotherapies to address human disease in the clinic,” Mark Poznansky, MD, PhD, director of the VIC at MGH and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said in the statement. “This particular discovery opens the way towards B cell immunotherapy for a diverse range of injury settings, from diabetic foot ulcers to traumatic brain injury.”

Changes in B cell function occur via signaling molecules and pathways that are usually critically involved in response to infection, which indicates repurposing existing tools in the cells’ repertoire in the context of sterile injury. This results in a reduction of inflammation-associated proteins and increases factors associated with proliferation, remodeling, and protection from oxidative stress.

The findings were published in the FASEB Journal, published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Reference

B cells do more than just help fight infection. EurekAlert. News release. November 19, 2021. Accessed November 19, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/935494