B cell Metabolism in Autoimmunity

In recent years, changes in metabolism have been shown to influence the differentiation of T cells and monocytes/macrophages into pro- or anti-inflammatory subsets. Moreover, nutrition drastically influences autoimmune inflammation. Current concepts suggest that targeting metabolic pathways could represent a novel therapeutic strategy. This might be achieved even by certain diets which would have only little unwanted side effects, compared to current therapeutic approaches. Though not well studied so far, growing evidence is found that B cells react similarly to metabolic challenges.

This study aims to further characterise the metabolic profile of B cell subsets and the impact of certain metabolites on the differentiation of mature B cells into plasma cells or germinal centre B cells. Additionally, the influence of metabolites on the production of autoantibodies and immunomodulatory molecules such as IL-10 will be investigated. Finally, the impact of metabolites on B cells will be studied in models for autoimmune diseases, such as epidermolysis bullosa acquisita.