B cell: T cell interactions occur within hepatic granulomas during experimental visceral leishmaniasis.
Moore JWJ., Beattie L., Dalton JE., Owens BMJ., Maroof A., Coles MC., Kaye PM.
Hepatic resistance to Leishmania donovani infection in mice is associated with the development of granulomas, in which a variety of lymphoid and non-lymphoid populations accumulate. Although previous studies have identified B cells in hepatic granulomas and functional studies in B cell-deficient mice have suggested a role for B cells in the control of experimental visceral leishmaniasis, little is known about the behaviour of B cells in the granuloma microenvironment. Here, we first compared the hepatic B cell population in infected mice, where ≈60% of B cells are located within granulomas, with that of naïve mice. In infected mice, there was a small increase in mIgM(lo)mIgD(+) mature B2 cells, but no enrichment of B cells with regulatory phenotype or function compared to the naïve hepatic B cell population, as assessed by CD1d and CD5 expression and by IL-10 production. Using 2-photon microscopy to quantify the entire intra-granuloma B cell population, in conjunction with the adoptive transfer of polyclonal and HEL-specific BCR-transgenic B cells isolated from L. donovani-infected mice, we demonstrated that B cells accumulate in granulomas over time in an antigen-independent manner. Intra-vital dynamic imaging was used to demonstrate that within the polyclonal B cell population obtained from L. donovani-infected mice, the frequency of B cells that made multiple long contacts with endogenous T cells was greater than that observed using HEL-specific B cells obtained from the same inflammatory environment. These data indicate, therefore, that a subset of this polyclonal B cell population is capable of making cognate interactions with T cells within this unique environment, and provide the first insights into the dynamics of B cells within an inflammatory site.