About this Research Topic
Our mechanistic understanding of humoral immune responses is mostly derived from vaccine studies that involve the injection of high antigen doses combined with adjuvants. These experimental models allow free drainage to the lymphoid organs and extended exposure of all respective immune cells to the antigen and adjuvant. Therefore, these systems are not suitable to evaluate the contribution of a specific immune cell to humoral immunity. During local peripheral infections, the amount of antigen entering the secondary lymphoid compartment may be limiting and mechanisms exist to expedite and ensure the encounter of rare antigen-specific B cells with its native cognate antigen. Various antigen presenting cells have been implicated in the capture and presentation of native antigen to B cells including dendritic cells (DCs).
Despite numerous studies documenting the capacity of DCs to directly present antigen to B cells and to regulate antibody responses, this function fades into the background when considering the indispensable role of DCs in the activation of naïve T cells. Indeed, DCs are essential for the activation of T follicular helper cells (Tfh), which in turn are critical in supporting B cell responses. Given that DCs can play a dual role in humoral immunity, first by displaying native antigen for the activation of antigen-specific B cells, then secondly, by priming T follicular helper cells that further support the development of B cell responses, it is difficult to disentangle these two process to unequivocally reveal the importance of the initial DC-B cell interaction. However, recent technological advances, including novel mouse models with selective ablation of DC subsets and antigen targeting, allow us to revisit the role of DCs in regulating humoral immune responses.
This Research Topic aims to gather a unique collection of Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Original Research articles that discuss the role of DCs in humoral immune responses. We welcome the submission of articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
1. Molecular mechanisms of GC-dependent and -independent humoral immune responses.
2. Antigen transport and presentation to B cells.
3. Humoral immune responses against soluble and particulate antigen.
4. DC-regulated humoral immune responses – the beginning/early ages.
5. Antigen storage and presentation by DCs.
6. DC localization, migration and interactions with B cells.
7. Molecular mechanisms underlying DC-mediated modulation of humoral immunity (steady state and inflammation).
8. DCs in T cell-dependent and -independent B cell responses.
9. DC subsets and humoral immune responses.
10. Human DCs and humoral immune responses.
11. Experimental models to dissect the role of DC subsets in humoral immune responses.