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Asymmetric B Cell Division in the Germinal Center Reaction

Science  20 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6066, pp. 342-344
DOI: 10.1126/science.1213495

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Abstract

Lifelong antibody responses to vaccination require reorganization of lymphoid tissue and dynamic intercellular communication called the germinal center reaction. B lymphocytes undergo cellular polarization during antigen stimulation, acquisition, and presentation, which are critical steps for initiating humoral immunity. Here, we show that germinal center B lymphocytes asymmetrically segregate the transcriptional regulator Bcl6, the receptor for interleukin-21, and the ancestral polarity protein atypical protein kinase C to one side of the plane of division, generating unequal inheritance of fate-altering molecules by daughter cells. Germinal center B lymphocytes from mice with a defect in leukocyte adhesion fail to divide asymmetrically. These results suggest that motile cells lacking constitutive attachment can receive provisional polarity cues from the microenvironment to generate daughter cell diversity and self-renewal.

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