How do bone marrow microenvironments regulate B lymphocyte production?
- Research Opportunity
- PhD students, Masters by Research
- Number of Honour Places Available
- Number of Master Places Available
- Department / Centre
- St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
|Professor Louise Purtonfirstname.lastname@example.org||03 9231 2480||Personal web page|
|Dr Gavin Tjinemail@example.com||03 9231 2480|
|Ms Diannita Kwangfirstname.lastname@example.org||03 9231 2480|
Summary B lymphocytes, which are essential in eliminating pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, decline during aging, in part due to a reduced bone marrow microenvironment (the factory for B lymphocyte production). The changes that occur in the B lymphocyte factory that cause this decline are unclear and will be investigated in this project.
B lymphocytes are antibody-producing white blood cells that eliminate pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. A range of diseases involve significantly reduced B lymphocyte numbers, and, by the age of 60 (currently more than 20% of the Australian population), the production of B lymphocytes in humans has significantly declined as a result of aging. People with low B lymphocyte numbers are more susceptible to infection by viruses and other pathogens, contributing to their increased morbidity and mortality. Low B lymphocyte numbers in humans also reduces the effectiveness of vaccinations, further contributing to the risk of infection.
The primary site where B lymphocytes are made is in the bone marrow, and a range of non-blood cells (called bone marrow microenvironment cells) help to regulate the different stages involved in the production of B lymphocytes. Each bone marrow microenvironment that supports the distinct stages of B lymphocyte production is unique and some key regulators of B lymphocytes have been identified. Despite this, little is known about the nature of the cell types that form each distinct B lymphocyte bone marrow microenvironment. Furthermore, the reduced production of B lymphocytes due to aging is known to be accompanied by changes in B lymphocyte bone marrow microenvironments, however, there is little understanding of what these changes are. In this project, we will use a highly innovative immunofluorescence imaging technology to identify the different B lymphocyte bone marrow microenvironments. We will also determine the changes that occur to these bone marrow microenvironments during aging.
The studies will incorporate a range of different techniques, including innovative multicolour immunofluorescence studies on bone marrow sections, isolation of bone marrow cells from mice, fluorescence-based immunostaining accompanied by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and molecular biology techniques.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
PhD students, Masters by Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research
For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.
Department / Centre
Research NodeSt Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
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