Compare And Contrast T Cell Development With B Cell Development

1112 words - 4 pages

The developmental routes for these cells are very complex and unique but there are similarities. B-cells produce antibodies to bind onto foreign bodies that have invaded the host organism; this allows cells such as cytotoxic T-cells will then destroy the infected cell/structure. On the other hand, T-cells such as T-helper cells that secrete cytokines to control immune responses and cytotoxic T-cells that destroy pathogenic cells and structures.

B-cells develop from pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells, which give rise to lymphoid progenitor cells in the bone marrow. These stem cells have become Pro-B cells when they have begun to express B-cell marker proteins such as CD34 and rearrange the genes that code for the heavy chains in its B-Cell Receptor (BCR). In the next stage of development, Pro-B cells will become Pre-B cells. The transition to Pre-B cells involves the expression of the μ heavy chain on the cell surface. “The RNA transcript is spliced to produce the mRNA”[1] to synthesize the μ chain and express it on the surface of the cell in the Pro-B cell to Pre-B cell stage. Now the Pre-B cell can develop into an immature B-cell. Light chains of the BCR need to be expressed before the cell can be called an immature B-cell. Once this is complete, an immature B-cell has been produced.

Immature B-cells play a vital role in the prevention of autoimmunity. If immature B-cells happen to be self-reactive, autoimmunity can arise. These cells would be killed as soon as they come into contact with a self-antigen, as they are so self-reactive. Cells will abnormally high self-reactivity are killed via apoptosis before they can enter the general cell population, this is where ~90% of produced cells are lost before being exported out of the bone marrow. Immature B-cells now migrate from the primary to the secondary lymphoid organs such as the spleen to mature. [2]

T-cells develop from a lymphoid progenitor that has been developed in the bone marrow. T-cell development can be separated into early and late stages by the lack of CD4+ and CD8+ on the cell surface. A lymphoid progenitor will begin to develop into a T-cell if the Notch1 protein is overexpressed in the cell. During the double negative 1 (DN) phase of development, the cells are migrating into the thymic cortex as pro-thymocytes from the bone marrow. They are yet to commit to a lineage so can still mature into other types of T-cell such as natural killer T-cells, intraepithelial lymphocytes and regulatory T-cells. Also, the cells are yet to express CD4+ or CD8+ and only express c-kit (CD117) and CD25 on their cell membrane.

DN2 is a vital phase, it occurs in the subcapsular cortex of the thymus. It is here that the “genes for the gamma, delta and beta T-cell receptor (TCR) chains” [3] start their rearrangement process. The alpha chain does not commence its rearrangement, as the recombinase machinery cannot reach its gene. In this phase, cells fully commit to the...

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