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Pathology & Immunology

Houston, Texas

Pathology and Immunology
Pathology & Immunology
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Shuhua Han, M.D. - Faculty

Shuhua Han photoAssociate Professor, Department of Pathology & Immunology

M.D., Shanghai Medical University
Postdoctoral, Duke University Medical Center


Research Interests:
Mechanisms of B cell development and differentiation; inflammation; Autoimmunity.

My lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms of B cell development in the primary and secondary lymphoid tissues. The differentiation of naïve B cells into memory B cells is a complex procedure involving antigen, T cells, cytokines, and accessory cells such as dendritic cells (DC) and follicular dendritic cells (FDC). We are studying this interaction at the cellular and molecular levels to dissect the biological roles of the cellular components in immune responses. Germinal centers (GC) are highly specialized anatomic sites found within follicles of secondary lymphoid tissue after antigen stimulation. The B cells in the GCs undergo a high rate of clonal expansion, somatic mutation of their Ig V genes, antigen-driven affinity maturation and memory B cell generation. We use a combination of cellular and molecular biology techniques to study the mechanisms involved in this B cell developmental pathway.

Our research interests also involve the mechanisms of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Specifically, we are studying the mechanisms of lymphocyte activation, cell trafficking and inflammatory responses in nonlymphoid tissues in the settings of autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating autoimmune disease that is characterized by infiltration of inflammatory cells into synovium, leading to irreversible destruction of tendons, cartilage, and bone. Currently we are using an animal model of collagen-induced arthritis to investigate leukocyte migration in arthritic joints, the activation and differentiation of lymphocytes and macrophages during the inflammatory response. We use various transgenic and knockout mouse strains to study the development and progression of autoimmune arthritis.

Selected Publications:

  • Han, S., B. Zheng, J. Dal Porto, and G. Kelsoe. (1995) In situ studies of the primary immune response to (4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl)acetyl. IV. affinity-dependent, antigen-driven B cell apoptosis in germinal centers as a mechanism for maintaining self-tolerance. J. Exp. Med. 182:1635.
  • Han, S., B. Zheng, D. Schatz, E. Spanopoulou and G. Kelsoe. (1996) Neoteny in lymphocytes: expression of Rag-1 and Rag-2 in germinal center B cells.Science. 274:2094.
  • Han, S., S. R. Dillon, B. Zheng, M. Shimoda, M. S. Schlissel and G. Kelsoe. (1997) V(D)J recombinase activity in a subset of germinal center B lymphocytes. Science. 278:301.
  • S. Han, S. Cao, R. Bheekha-Escura, and B. Zheng. (2001) Germinal center reaction in joints of mice with collagen-induced arthritis. An animal model of lymphocyte activation and differentiation in arthritic joints. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 44: 1438.
  • Han, S., K. Yang, Z. Ozen, W. Peng, G. Kelsoe, and B.Zheng. (2003) Enhanced differentiation of splenic plasma cells but diminished long-lived high affinity bone marrow plasma cells in aged mice. J. Immunol.170:1267.
  • Zheng, B., E. Marinova, J. Han, T. Tan, and S. Han. (2003) Cutting edge: gd T cells provide help to B cells with altered clonotypes and are capable of inducing Ig gene hypermutation.J. Immunol. 171: 4979.
  • Han. S., X. Zhang, R. Xu, F.D. Finkelman, F. Brombacher, and B. Zheng. (2004) IgD+IgM- B cells mount immune responses that exhibit altered antibody repertoire. Eur. J. Immunol. 34:661.
  • Zheng, B., E. Marinova, K. Switzer, D. Wansley, H. He, R. Bheekha-Escura, T. Behrens, and S. Han. (2007) Overexpression of BclXL in B cells promotes Th1 response and exacerbates collagen-induced arthritis. J. Immunol. 179: 7087.
  • Zheng, B., Y. Zhang , E. Marinova , K. Switzer , D. Wansley , I. Mbawuike, and S. Han. (2007) Rectification of Age-associated Deficiency in Cytotoxic T Cell Response to Influenza A Virus by Immunization with Immune Complexes. J. Immunol.179:6153.
  • Guo, L., X. Zheng, B. Zheng, and S. Han. (2008) IgM-mediated signaling is required for the development of a normal B cell memory response.Molecular Immunol.45: 1071.

For a complete list of Dr. Han's publications, visit PubMed.

Contact Information:
    Shuhua Han, M.D.
    Department of Pathology & Immunology
    Baylor College of Medicine
    One Baylor Plaza, BCM245
    Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-798-8805
Fax: 713-798-3033

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