Erin Martin


December 2010

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


Oregon Health & Science University


The process of central tolerance eliminates self-reactive B and T lymphocytes as they develop in the bone marrow and thymus. Although stringent, this process is not complete because some auto-antigens that are not expressed during central tolerance are present in the periphery. Therefore, peripheral tolerance mechanisms are in place to silence any self-reactive B and T cells that escape central tolerance. New bone marrow B cell emigrants, termed transitional B cells, undergo anergy and eventual apoptosis upon encounter with self-antigen. Mature T cells may undergo anergy, apoptosis, or develop into regulatory T cells that suppress immune responses. In this study, we examine the role of transitional and mature B cells in T cell tolerance induction. More specifically, we use an in vivo model to provide evidence that transitional and mature follicular B cells are capable of inducing antigen-specific T cell anergy. Further, we examine the capacity of three B cell subsets in convertin




School of Medicine



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