Sci. STKE, 17 December 2002
Immunology Aide-Memoire for Antibody Production
What persuades a memory lymphocyte to stick around for years after an infection has been cleared? For B cells, the explanations have been that either antigens persist somehow or that some B cells develop into long-lived antibody-secreting plasma cells that need no stimulation. Bernasconi et al. provide evidence for an intermediate mechanism in which nonspecific stimuli--not limited to antigens from any one pathogen--spur B cells into continued antibody production. In culture, human memory, but not naïve, B cells divided strongly in response to CpG sequences of DNA, which are powerful signals to innate immune cells. The T cell cytokine interleukin-15 evoked the same response, and like CpG, could induce some B cells to become plasma cells. Frequencies of antigen-specific plasma B cells and levels of circulating antibody in individuals over a decade after vaccination agreed with predictions made from these experiments.
Citation: Aide-Memoire for Antibody Production. Sci. STKE 2002, tw475 (2002).
The editors suggest the following Related Resources on Science sites:
In Science Magazine
Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882