Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Microbiology and Immunology


In rabbits, antibody diversity and B cell expansion are generated in gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT), in an antigen- and T cell-independent mechanism, and require interaction with intestinal microbiota. I investigated, in vitro, the mechanism by which commensals drive GALT reactions. Bacteria were isolated from the GALT of rabbits and identified by 16sRNA sequencing. I found that the commensals can bind to Ig, independently of their specificity. In addition, a ~20kDa bacterial molecule was immunoprecipitated with recombinant Ig molecules. Stimulation of B cells with selected bacterial molecules induced the activation of B cells. Stimulation of B cells through TLR2 induced the expression of chemokine receptors known to be expressed on B cells as they move throughout the follicle. The data collected in these studies support the idea that bacteria provide B cells with signals that may lead to their activation and migration in GALT, in an antigen independent manner.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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