Generation of memory B cells and plasma cells in vitro

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Science  05 May 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5211, pp. 720-722
DOI: 10.1126/science.7537388


After germinal center B cells undergo somatic mutation and antigen selection, they become either memory B cells or plasma cells, but the signal requirements that control entry into either pathway have been unclear. When purified human germinal center cells were cultured with interleukin-2, interleukin-10, and cells expressing CD40 ligand, cells with characteristics of memory B cells were generated. Removal of CD40 ligand from the system resulted in terminal differentiation of germinal center B cells into cells with the characteristics of plasma cells. These results indicate that CD40 ligand directs the differentiation of germinal center B cells toward memory B cells rather than toward plasma cells.

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