According to the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) and the world healthorganization (WHO), heart disease and immune related diseases such as diabetes and cancer areamong the leading causes of death around the world. Thus, the regulation of the function ofimmune cell plays a key role in health and disease. Calcium (Ca2+) ions play a critical role inimmune cell activation, function and in a robust immune response. Defects in Ca2+ signalinginfluences the development of cardiac disease, Alzheimer disease, immune cell metabolism,muscle dysfunction, and cancer. Each immune cell is unique in its activation and function,making it relevant to understand how activation of each type of immune cell is regulated. Herewe describe the role of the nBMP2 protein in macrophage activation and function and the role ofthe CD5 co-receptor in helper T cell activation and function.The nuclear bone morphogenetic protein 2 (nBMP2) is the nuclear variant of the bonemorphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), a growth factor important in heart development, neurogenesis,bone, cartilage and muscle development. To better understand the function of nBMP2, transgenicnBMP2 mutant mice were generated. These mice have a slow muscle relaxation and cognitivedeficit caused in part by abnormal Ca2+ mobilization. Mutant nBMP2 mice also have an impairedsecondary immune response to systemic bacterial challenge. Here we have further characterizedmacrophage activation and function from mutant nBMP2 mice before and after bacterialinfection. We describe how nBMP2 influences the Ca2+ mobilization response and phagocytosisin macrophages, revealing a novel role of the nBMP2 protein in immune cell regulation.CD5 is a surface marker on T cells, thymocytes, and the B1 subset of B cells. CD5 isknown to play an important role during thymic development of T cells. CD5 functions as anegative regulator of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling and fine tunes the TCR signaling response.Here we describe our characterization of CD5 regulation of Ca2+ signaling in naïve helper Tcells. We also outline our findings examining how CD5-induced changes in helper T cellactivation influence other biological processes such as immune cell metabolism, the diversity ofthe gut microbiome, and cognitive function and behavior. Thus, this work elucidates theinfluence of the CD5 co-receptor on the functional outcomes in multiple systems when CD5 isaltered.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Microbiology and Molecular Biology



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nBMP2, bone morphogenetic protein, CD5, co-receptor, calcium (Ca2+), metabolism, behavior, TCR, T cell receptor, microbiome, macrophage, T helper cells