Background: The dysregulation of B cell activation is prevalent during naturally acquired immunity against malaria. Osteopontin (OPN), a protein produced by various cells including B cells, is a phosphorylated glycoprotein that participates in immune regulation and has been suggested to be involved in the immune response against malaria. Here we studied the longitudinal concentrations of OPN in infants and their mothers living in Uganda, and how OPN concentrations correlated with B cell subsets specific for P. falciparum and B cell activating factor (BAFF). We also investigated the direct effect of OPN on P. falciparum in vitro. Results: The OPN concentration was higher in the infants compared to the mothers, and OPN concentration in infants decreased from birth until 9 months. OPN concentration in infants during 9 months were independent of OPN concentrations in corresponding mothers. OPN concentrations in infants were inversely correlated with total atypical memory B cells (MBCs) as well as P. falciparum-specific atypical MBCs. There was a positive correlation between OPN and BAFF concentrations in both mothers and infants. When OPN was added to P. falciparum cultured in vitro, parasitemia was unaffected regardless of OPN concentration. Conclusions: The concentrations of OPN in infants were higher and independent of the OPN concentrations in corresponding mothers. In vitro, OPN does not have a direct effect on P. falciparum growth. Our correlation analysis results suggest that OPN could have a role in the B cell immune response and acquisition of natural immunity against malaria.
|Publication status||Published - 2021 Dec|
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Immunology in the medical area
- B cell
- Plasmodium falciparum