Long Live the Mature B Cell--a BAFFling Mystery Resolved

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Science  14 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5537, pp. 2012-2013
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065591

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What determines whether transitional B cells newly emerged from the bone marrow will differentiate further to become mature, long-lived, circulating B lymphocytes? In a Perspective, Waldschmidt and Noelle discuss new findings showing that the TNF family ligand BAFF and its receptor BAFF-R are crucial for selecting transitional B cells into the mature B cell pool ( Thompson et al., Schiemann et al.).