Michael Paul Cancro, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department: Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
284 John Morgan Building
3620 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 898-8067
Fax: (215) 573-2350
Lab: (215) 898-6668
Education:
B.S. (Zoology)
University of Maryland College Park, 1973.
Ph.D. (Zoology/Genetics)
University of Maryland College Park, 1976.
Postdoc (Immunology)
University of Pennsylvania, 1977.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests

B lymphocyte development, selection, and homeostasis; immunobiology of aging.

Research Summary

The size and makeup of mature B cell compartments is controlled by the proportion of immature B cells that complete differentiation, coupled with the average lifespan of mature B cells. Determining the selective and homeostatic factors controlling these parameters is thus key to understanding how the B cell repertoire is established and maintained. Our previous work defined the developmental stages spanning immature B cell formation in the marrow and final maturation in the periphery. More recently, we have focused on the molecular basis for survival and differentiation within these developmental subsets, with emphasis on the role of BLyS and BLyS receptors. Through developmental and kinetic studies in normal and mutant mice, we have found that BLyS controls peripheral B cell numbers in two ways: by varying the proportion of cells that complete transitional B cell development, and by serving as the primary determinant of mature follicular B cell lifespan. Ongoing studies are aimed at determining the molecular and cellular mechanism of BLyS activity in these subsets, as well as how BLyS responsiveness is integrated with BCR signaling. Additionally, we have begun studies of how these selective and homeostatic processes change with age. Our results indicate that the size and dynamics of most B cell subsets shift with age, suggesting age-associated alterations in both intrinsic and microenvironmental factors that govern these processes.

Selected Publications

Goenka R, Barnett LG, Silver JS, O’Neill PJ, Hunter CA, Cancro MP, Laufer TM: Cutting Edge: Dendritic cell-restricted antigen presentation initiates the follicular Th cell program but cannot complete ultimate effector differentiation. J Immunol. 187(3): 1091-5, August 2011.

Hao Y, O’Neill P, Naradikian MS, Scholz JL, Cancro MP : A B cell subset uniquely responsive to innate stimuli accumulates in aged mice. Blood 118(5): 1294-304, August 2011.

Bortnick A, Chernova I, Quinn WJ 3rd, Mugnier M, Cancro MP, Allman DM: Long-lived bone marrow plasma cells are induced early in response to T-cell independent or T-cell dependent antigens. J Immunol. 188(11): 5389-5396, May 2012.

Dosenovic P, Soldemo M, Scholz JL, O'Dell S, Grasset EK, Pelletier N, Karlsson MC, Mascola JR, Wyatt RT, Cancro MP, Karlsson Hedestam GB: BLyS-mediated modulation of naive B cell subsets impacts HIV Env-induced antibody responses. J Immunol. 188(12): 6018-26, June 2012.

Oropallo MA, Held KS, Goenka R, Ahmad SA, O’Neill PJ, Steward O, Lane TE, Cancro MP: Chronic spinal cord injury impairs primary antibody responses, but spares existing humoral immunity in mice. J Immunol. 188(11): 5257-5266, June 2012.

Cancro MP: Signalling crosstalk in B cells: managing worth and need. Nat Rev Immunol. 9(9): 657-661, September 2009.

Scholz JL, Cancro MP: Resolve, revise, and relax: The 3 Rs of B cell repertoire adjustment. Immunol Lett. 143(1): 2-8, March 2012.

Scholz JL, Crowley JE, Tomayko MM, Steinel N, O'Neill PJ, Quinn WJ 3rd, Goenka R, Miller JP, Cho YH, Long V, Ward C, Migone TS, Shlomchik MJ, Cancro MP: BLyS inhibition eliminates primary B cells but leaves natural and acquired humoral immunity intact. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(40): 15517-15522, October 2008.

Harless SM, Lentz VM, Sah AP, Hsu BL, Clise-Dwyer K, Hilbert DM, Hayes CE, Cancro MP: Competition for BLyS-mediated signaling through Bcmd/BR3 regulates peripheral B lymphocyte numbers. Curr Biol. 11(24): 1986-1989, December 2001.

Allman DM, Ferguson SE, Lentz VM, Cancro MP: Peripheral B cell maturation. II. Heat-stable antigen(hi) splenic B cells are an immature developmental intermediate in the production of long-lived marrow-derived B cells. J Immunol. 151(9): 4431-4444, November 1993.

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Last updated: 10/15/2014
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