Send to

Choose Destination
Leuk Res. 2001 Feb;25(2):169-78.

Cells of the marginal zone--origins, function and neoplasia.

Author information

Laboratory of Immunopathology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Building 7, Room 304, 7 Center Drive MSC 0760, Bethesda, MD 20892-0760, USA.


Splenic marginal zone B cells of humans and mice are anatomically positioned with specialized macrophages, dendritic and endothelial cells. Together, they function as the first line of defense against blood borne pathogens with a low triggering threshold for B cells providing a rapid proliferative and antibody response to infections. In humans, B cells with similar cytology and physical relations to follicles are found in lymph nodes and Peyer's patches. However, they also develop in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) and other sites, such as the thyroid and salivary gland, that normally lack organized lymphoid tissue. Chronic antigenic stimulation at these sites or in response to infection with Hepatitis C provides the milieu for mutations at FAS, API2/ML, TP53 and INK4a/p19ARF and the development of marginal zone lymphomas (MZL) in node, spleen and MALT. Only splenic MZL are seen in mice. A reduced threshold for triggering to proliferation may predispose the marginal zone B cell to neoplasia with mutations in genes regulating apoptosis playing a leading role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center