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N-Glycan Branching Decouples B Cell Innate and Adaptive Immunity to Control Inflammatory Demyelination.

  • Author(s): Mortales, Christie-Lynn;
  • Lee, Sung-Uk;
  • Manousadjian, Armen;
  • Hayama, Ken L;
  • Demetriou, Michael
  • et al.

B cell depletion potently reduces episodes of inflammatory demyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS), predominantly through loss of innate rather than adaptive immunity. However, molecular mechanisms controlling innate versus adaptive B cell function are poorly understood. N-glycan branching, via interactions with galectins, controls endocytosis and signaling of cell surface receptors to control cell function. Here we report that N-glycan branching in B cells dose dependently reduces pro-inflammatory innate responses by titrating decreases in Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) and TLR2 surface expression via endocytosis. In contrast, a minimal level of N-glycan branching maximizes surface retention of the B cell receptor (BCR) and the CD19 co-receptor to promote adaptive immunity. Branched N-glycans inhibit antigen presentation by B cells to reduce T helper cell-17 (TH17)/TH1 differentiation and inflammatory demyelination in mice. Thus, N-glycan branching negatively regulates B cell innate function while promoting/maintaining adaptive immunity via BCR, providing an attractive therapeutic target for MS.

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