The role of haptoglobin in lymphopoiesis and immune cell function
Huntoon, Kristin Michelle
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The study of haptoglobin (Hp) traditionally has been focused on the role of Hp in acute phase reactions and binding of free hemoglobin (Hb) during the process of hemolysis. However, more recently it has been found that Hp may play a contributing role in directing and enhancing immune responses especially in the cases of T helper cell type 1 (Th1) and T helper cell type 2 (Th2) reactions. The data described here will further support the notion that Hp has broader physiological activities that affect the immune system than was first described. These activities were observed by the role of Hp on particular immune responses in the context of various immune cells both in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, the role of Hp in directing differentiation and lymphopoiesis was determined by assessing the phenotype of the haptoglobin knockout mouse. Synergistically, these immune activities, along with the more traditional properties of Hp, lend support to importance of this acute phase protein in tumorigenesis and other disease states.