With students involved in so many research opportunities, Undergraduate Research Day provides the perfect opportunity for them to share their work with the campus community. Held each April, Undergraduate Research Day showcases current research, scholarship, and artistic endeavors.
Browsing Undergraduate Research Day 2020 by Author "Beher, Richa"
Evidence indicates that lipid accumulation due to obesity triggers a low-grade, chronic inflammation, which is correlated with the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes (T2D). Recent studies provide evidence for the essential role that B cells play in obesity-induced inflammation and the development of insulin resistance. In visceral adipose tissue (VAT), B cells generate self-reactive antibodies (autoantibodies), which increase their pathogenicity. They also activate the production of cytokines by T cells through antigen presentation. Lastly, B cells themselves increase the production of inflammatory cytokines while decreasing the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. We hypothesize that neutral lipid accumulation exclusively in B cells will cause them to infiltrate VAT, trigger autoantibody production, and develop an autoimmune pathology. Preliminary research has led to the generation of a B cell-specific CGI-58 knockout (BKO) mice model in order to induce neutral lipid accumulation in B cells. It was found that increased accumulation of triglycerides in CGI-58 BKO mice significantly increased the levels of spontaneous activation in B cells, shown by the increases in the number of germinal center B cells, the surface expression levels of B cell activation markers, and the number of infiltrated lymphocytes in VAT, compared to Flox controls. The goal of this project is to determine the mechanism by which B cell lipid metabolism regulates B cell activation and pathogenicity in obesity-associated insulin resistance.