Editor's Summary

9 October 2008

Falling SAP hits antibody production


X-linked lymphoproliferative disease is a fatal immunodeficiency caused by defects in the lymphocyte activation molecule-associated protein, SAP. Individuals lacking a functional SAP — and the equivalent gene-targeted mouse model — do not generate germinal centres, areas in the lymph nodes that are the sites of antibody affinity maturation. Using two-photon intravital imaging, a type of fluorescence microscopy that can track labelled cells within the tissues, Hai Qi et al. show that SAP-deficient T cells are unable to interact with and provide help to antigen-specific B cells, and are not recruited into germinal centres. This work helps explain why patients lacking SAP have difficulties making antibodies and provides insights into the intercellular communication between T cells and B cells.

News and ViewsImmunology: Helpful T cells are sticky

Prolonged physical interaction between helper T cells and antibody-producing B cells is crucial for efficient immune responses. Mutations in a protein that underlies this process cause human disease.

Elissa K. Deenick & Stuart G. Tangye

doi:10.1038/455745a

ArticleSAP-controlled T–B cell interactions underlie germinal centre formation

Hai Qi, Jennifer L. Cannons, Frederick Klauschen, Pamela L. Schwartzberg & Ronald N. Germain

doi:10.1038/nature07345