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Glycogen Dynamics in Proliferating Human Helper T Cells


Glycogen Dynamics in Proliferating Human Helper T Cells

Stopnicki, Brandon ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4713-683X (2019) Glycogen Dynamics in Proliferating Human Helper T Cells. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The immune system protects the body against infections and cancer. A type of lymphocyte called “helper T cell” plays a vital role in coordinating immune responses. Helper T cells are arguably the most important type of immune cell as they are required for almost all adaptive immune functions. T cells play a vital role in the adaptive immune system, however, very little is known about their metabolic pathways. When presented with an antigen, helper T cells proliferate, differentiate and produce cytokines. The activation of helper T cells is metabolically demanding. T cells require large amounts of glucose from their environment as they proliferate. Glycolytic by-products support rapid cell division through the building of biomass. Systematically, excess glucose is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen, but there is growing evidence that glycogen is found in non-hepatic cells as well. With an increase in glucose uptake in helper T cells, surplus must be stored for later use. Currently, there is very little knowledge on the role of glycogen dynamics in helper T cells. I hypothesized that glycogen is important in helper T cell proliferation and cytokine production. I demonstrated that isolated human helper T cells accumulated glycogen upon activation. Activated T cells accumulated a greater amount of glycogen as compared to non-activated cells (p<0.0001). The enzyme α-amylase, added as a control, digested glycogen and reduced the glycogen signal. Inhibition of glycogen breakdown significantly attenuated proliferation and had a trend to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-17A production in activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This is among the first accounts of glycogen dynamics in helper T cells. It is important to study helper T cells because they are implicated in autoimmune diseases and immune deficiencies. This newfound understanding on how helper T cells manage their metabolic needs during an immune response could aid in the development of immunomodulatory treatments.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Stopnicki, Brandon
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Date:8 August 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Darlington, PJ
Keywords:glycogen, helper T cell, immunometabolism, proliferation
ID Code:985609
Deposited On:05 Feb 2020 02:29
Last Modified:05 Feb 2020 02:29


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