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Semin Immunol. 2002 Aug;14(4):259-66.

Follicular dendritic cell-signaling molecules required for proliferation and differentiation of GC-B cells.

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Laboratory of Cellular Immunology, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70121, USA.


To study the functional role of follicular dendritic cells (FDC) in germinal center (GC)-B cell differentiation, we have established an in vitro experimental model that mimics GC-reactions in vivo. Using this culture system, we have characterized the distinct function of FDC from activated T cells. The primary function of FDC is to prevent apoptosis and support proliferation of GC-B cells, whereas activated T cells induce the differentiation of GC-B cells by providing CD40L and cytokines. Furthermore, we have identified two FDC-signaling molecules that mediate proliferation of GC-B cells in vitro and in vivo.

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