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Transcriptional profiling of antigen-dependent murine B cell differentiation and memory formation.

Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford Cancer Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 12/2007; 179(10):6808-19. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.179.10.6808
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Humoral immunity is characterized by the generation of Ab-secreting plasma cells and memory B cells that can more rapidly generate specific Abs upon Ag exposure than their naive counterparts. To determine the intrinsic differences that distinguish naive and memory B cells and to identify pathways that allow germinal center B cells to differentiate into memory B cells, we compared the transcriptional profiles of highly purified populations of these three cell types along with plasma cells isolated from mice immunized with a T-dependent Ag. The transcriptional profile of memory B cells is similar to that of naive B cells, yet displays several important differences, including increased expression of activation-induced deaminase and several antiapoptotic genes, chemotactic receptors, and costimulatory molecules. Retroviral expression of either Klf2 or Ski, two transcriptional regulators specifically enriched in memory B cells relative to their germinal center precursors, imparted a competitive advantage to Ag receptor and CD40-engaged B cells in vitro. These data suggest that humoral recall responses are more rapid than primary responses due to the expression of a unique transcriptional program by memory B cells that allows them to both be maintained at high frequencies and to detect and rapidly respond to antigenic re-exposure.

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