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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;447:295-323. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-242-7_20.

B-cell studies in chronic ethanol mice.

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University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.


Chronic alcohol abuse leads to multiple defects in the immune system, leading to an increased risk of infectious disease and malignancy. Immune lesions encompass both the innate and adaptive arms and include deficiencies in the B-cell compartment. Long-term alcoholics exhibit loss of B cells in the periphery and diminished ability to generate protective antibodies. To better mimic the chronic alcoholic patient, our group has used an ethanol-in-drinking-water mouse model. Mice consuming alcohol in this manner progressively develop a range of immune abnormalities, including defects in humoral immunity. To document and explore B-cell lesions in ethanol-consuming mice, our laboratory has used a broad panel of technologies. These include protocols to define the physical state of B cells in the bone marrow and periphery, in vitro approaches to test B-cell activation potential and in vivo experiments to document the humoral competence of the host. These key techniques are detailed in the present chapter.

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