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Specialized immune-system B cells play double-barreled role

not have developed sufficient populations of B-1b cells to mount such an adaptive response.

According to Tedder, such basic insights as the new study yielded could be important for rational design of vaccines.

"Most vaccines are designed simply empirically," he said. "The designers develop a formulation that's a best guess and test it on patients or animal models to determine its effectiveness. But now, research is reaching a point where we can understand the signals that switch certain B cell populations on and off and regulate their function.

"We certainly cannot say whether these particular findings about the role of these B-1 cell subtypes will directly impact on vaccine development," said Tedder. "However, understanding such key characteristics of the immune regulatory process will be critical to learning to successfully manipulate it with vaccines."


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Contact: Dennis Meredith
dennis.meredith@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University Medical Center
26-Jul-2005


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