[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Memory B cells provide rapid protection to previously encountered antigens; however, how these cells develop from germinal center B cells is not well understood. A previously described in vitro culture system using human tonsillar germinal center B cells was used to study the transcriptional changes that occur during differentiation of human memory B cells. Kinetic studies monitoring the expression levels of several known late B cell transcription factors revealed that BCL-6 is not expressed in memory B cells generated in vitro, and gene expression profiling studies confirmed that BCL-6 is not expressed in these memory B cells. Furthermore, ectopic expression of BCL-6 in human B cell cultures resulted in formation of fewer memory B cells. In addition, the expression profile of in vitro memory B cells showed a unique pattern that includes expression of genes encoding multiple costimulatory molecules and cytokine receptors, antiapoptotic proteins, T cell chemokines, and transcription factors. These studies establish new molecular criteria for defining the memory B cell stage in human B cells.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 04/2007; 204(4):819-30. · 13.21 Impact Factor