BTLA expression declines on B cells of the aged and is associated with low responsiveness to the trivalent influenza vaccine.
Virus-neutralizing antibody and B cell responses to influenza A viruses were measured in 35 aged and 28 middle-aged individuals following vaccination with the 2012 and 2013 trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines. Antibody responses to the vaccine strains were lower in the aged. An analysis of B cell subsets by flow cytometry with stains for immunoregulators showed that B cells of multiple subsets from the aged as compared to younger human subjects showed differences in the expression of the co-inhibitor B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA). Expression of BTLA inversely correlated with age and appears to be linked to shifting the nature of the response from IgM to IgG. High BTLA expression on mature B cells was linked to higher IgG responses to the H1N1 virus. Finally, high BTLA expression on isotype switched memory B cells was linked to better preservation of virus neutralizing antibody titers and improved recall responses to vaccination given the following year.
Kannan, S; Kurupati, RK; Doyle, SA; Freeman, GJ; Schmader, KE; Ertl, HCJ
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