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A study of CD4+ follicular helper T cells in the follicular lymphoma microenvironment and normal germinal centres

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Follicular lymphoma is a common B cell malignancy which usually follows an indolent course but it is a heterogeneous disease and there are no biomarkers that can accurately predict outcome or prognosis at the time of diagnosis. There is now clear evidence that the microenvironment plays an important role in the pathogenesis of this disease and the composition of the microenvironment has been linked to prognosis with variable results. The biological basis for the influence of the microenvironment and the contribution of individual cell types remain unclear. In this research we focus on CD4+ T cell subsets, in particular T follicular helper cells and characterise their number, phenotype and distribution in follicular lymphoma with comparisons to normal germinal centres in reactive lymph nodes. We also investigate if T follicular helper cells have a role in promoting B cell proliferation, and induction of AID, whether B and T cells form immunological synapses in follicular lymphoma, and if there is evidence of antigen specificity in the T-cell receptor repertoire.
Original languageEnglish
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Award date2017

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