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Curr Opin Virol. 2013 Jun;3(3):363-70. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2013.05.015. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Modulation of SAP dependent T:B cell interactions as a strategy to improve vaccination.

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Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037, United States.


Generating long-term humoral immunity is a crucial component of successful vaccines and requires interactions between T cells and B cells in germinal centers (GC). In GCs, a specialized subset of CD4+ helper T cells, called T follicular helper cells (Tfh), provide help to B cells; this help directs the magnitude and quality of the antibody response. Tfh cell help influences B cell survival, proliferation, somatic hypermutation, class switch recombination, and differentiation. Sustained contact between Tfh cells and B cells is necessary for the provision of help to B cells. SAP (Signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM)-associated protein, encoded by Sh2d1a) regulates the duration of T:B cell interactions and is required for long-term humoral immunity in animal models and in humans. SAP binds to SLAM family receptors and mediates signaling that affects cell adhesion, cytokine secretion, and TCR signaling strength. Therefore, the modulation of SAP and SLAM family receptor expression represents a major axis by which the quality and duration of an antibody response is controlled after vaccination.

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