Early determination of B cell fate

Antibody responses by B cells become more specific over time in a process known as 'affinity maturation', but the role of antibody affinity for antigens in controlling B lymphocyte selection remains unclear. In 20 May Nature Immunology, Tien-An Yang Shih and colleagues from Rockefeller University, New York, show that strict selection for high-affinity B cell clones is imposed at an early stage of the T cell-dependent immune response in vivo (Nat Immunol 2002, DOI: 10.1038/ni803).Shih et al. comp

By | May 22, 2002

Antibody responses by B cells become more specific over time in a process known as 'affinity maturation', but the role of antibody affinity for antigens in controlling B lymphocyte selection remains unclear. In 20 May Nature Immunology, Tien-An Yang Shih and colleagues from Rockefeller University, New York, show that strict selection for high-affinity B cell clones is imposed at an early stage of the T cell-dependent immune response in vivo (Nat Immunol 2002, DOI: 10.1038/ni803).

Shih et al. compared T cell-dependent immune responses to the hapten 4-hydroxyl-3-nitrophenyl acetyl (NP) in mice that carry targeted VHB1-8 antibody genes with high or low antigen-binding affinity. They observed that high and low-affinity B cells were equally able to respond to antigen in the absence of competition. But when limiting numbers of high- and low-affinity B cells were mixed in wild type recipient mice, only the high-affinity B cells accumulated in germinal centers (GC).

"The B cells recruited to the GC appeared to undergo a fixed mutation program, regardless of initial B cell receptor affinity," wrote the authors.

"We conclude that antibody affinity does not regulate the rate of somatic hypermutation and that accumulation of mutations in antibody genes in GC B cells is the result of a preset mutation program followed by selection," say the authors.

Popular Now

  1. How Plants Evolved Different Ways to Make Caffeine
  2. Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobelists
    The Nutshell Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobelists

    According to citation statistics, researchers behind programmed cell death pathways and CRISPR/Cas9 are among those in line for Nobel Prizes this year.

  3. Sequencing Reveals Genomic Diversity of the Human Brain
  4. Reviewing Results-Free Manuscripts
    The Nutshell Reviewing Results-Free Manuscripts

    An open-access journal is trialing a peer-review process in which reviewers do not have access to the results or discussion sections of submitted papers.

RayBiotech