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Science 335 (6067): 475-479

Copyright © 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Asymmetric Segregation of Polarized Antigen on B Cell Division Shapes Presentation Capacity

Olivier Thaunat,1 Aitor G. Granja,1 Patricia Barral,1 Andrew Filby,2 Beatriz Montaner,1 Lucy Collinson,3 Nuria Martinez-Martin,1 Naomi E. Harwood,1 Andreas Bruckbauer,1 Facundo D. Batista1,*

Abstract: During the activation of humoral immune responses, B cells acquire antigen for subsequent presentation to cognate T cells. Here we show that after mouse B cells accumulate antigen, it is maintained in a polarized distribution for extended periods in vivo. Using high-throughput imaging flow cytometry, we observed that this polarization is preserved during B cell division, promoting asymmetric antigen segregation among progeny. Antigen inheritance correlates with the ability of progeny to activate T cells: Daughter cells receiving larger antigen stores exhibit a prolonged capacity to present antigen, which renders them more effective in competing for T cell help. The generation of progeny with differential capacities for antigen presentation may have implications for somatic hypermutation and class switching during affinity maturation and as B cells commit to effector cell fates.

1 Lymphocyte Interaction Laboratory, London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LY, UK.
2 Flow Cytometry Laboratory, London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LY, UK.
3 Electron Microscopy Laboratory, London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LY, UK.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: facundo.batista{at}cancer.org.uk


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