The clinical course and severity of pre-existing autoimmune disease, in which B cells are strongly involved, are altered during pregnancy and the reason for this is still not clear.
In mammals, B-lymphocytes and more specifically B2 lymphocytes are continuously generated thought the post-natal life by precursors present in the bone marrow. This process of B cell production is highly regulated and controlled. Minimal changes or modifications on the physiology or homeostasis can have strong impact on B lymphopoiesis.
Assuming that during the course of gravidity huge variations in maternal homeostasis occur, we hypothesized that B cell development during this transitory and crucial period of time must be finely adapted. Failures in carrying out these adaptations may not only affect pregnancy wellbeing but also the behavior of pre-existing diseases.
The main aim of this project is to investigate how physiological changes occurring during pregnancy affect B cells development and function with a particular focus on the link with autoimmune diseases.