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Publication Date

Spring 2015

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences


Tzvia Abramson


Crohn's disease, flow cytometry, inflammatory bowel disease, memory B cell, plasmablast, trafficking receptor

Subject Areas

Biology; Immunology; Medicine


The incidence of pediatric Crohn's disease (CD), an autoimmune intestinal inflammatory disease, is increasing. B cells infiltrate and accumulate within the gut mucosa, and lymphocyte trafficking may play a role. However, B cell trafficking in pediatric CD remains understudied. We hypothesized that in these patients circulating IgA+ plasmablasts (PBs) would increase in frequency, express trafficking receptors (TRs) associated with gut homing, and relate to disease severity.

Peripheral blood samples were obtained from pediatric CD patients (n=11) in remission or with mild or severe disease, then compared with samples from healthy adult (n=11) and pediatric donors (n=2). Using multicolor flow cytometry, IgA+ PBs and IgA+ memory B cells (MBCs) were analyzed for TRs.

IgA+ PBs were increased in pediatric CD patients. In patients in remission, IgA+/α4β7+/CCR9+ PBs were only slightly lower in frequency, but IgA+/α4β7+/CCR9+ MBCs were significantly lower in frequency compared with HDs. In patients with mild CD, the frequency of IgA+ MBCs co-expressing α4β7+/CCR10+ was significantly increased compared with HDs. Future studies with increased sample size can potentially apply this information to develop less invasive diagnostic and monitoring strategies for CD patients.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 30, 2020