We have assessed the role of B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) and its receptors in the germinal center (GC) reaction and affinity maturation. Despite ample BLyS retention on B cells in follicular (FO) regions, the GC microenvironment lacks substantial BLyS. This reflects IL-21-mediated down-regulation of the BLyS receptor TACI (transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor) on GC B cells, thus limiting their capacity for BLyS binding and retention. Within the GC, FO helper T cells (TFH cells) provide a local source of BLyS. Whereas T cell-derived BLyS is dispensable for normal GC cellularity and somatic hypermutation, it is required for the efficient selection of high affinity GC B cell clones. These findings suggest that during affinity maturation, high affinity clones rely on TFH-derived BLyS for their persistence.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Medicine|
|State||Published - Jan 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy