Commensal-specific B cells
The most studied form of homeostatic immunity to the microbiota is that associated with B-cell derived immunoglobulin-A (IgA) responses. IgA plays a fundamental role in shaping early interactions with the microbiota as well as in maintaining microbiota diversity and compartmentalization through life. Secretory IgA can be produced in both T cell-independent and T cell-dependent manners that both act to shape a mutualistic relationship with the microbiota, but how these responses contribute to disease pathogenesis when dysregulated remains poorly understood. We are developing new tools and techniques to track commensal-specific B cells to address these questions.