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Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Mar;5(3):230-42.

Regulation of plasma-cell development.

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Departments of Microbiology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Plasma cells are the terminally differentiated, non-dividing effector cells of the B-cell lineage. They are cellular factories devoted to the task of synthesizing and secreting thousands of molecules of clonospecific antibody each second. To respond to microbial pathogens with the necessary specificity and rapidity, B cells are exquisitely regulated with respect to both development in the bone marrow and activation in the periphery. This review focuses on the terminal differentiation of B cells into plasma cells, including the different subsets of B cells that become plasma cells, the mechanism of regulation of this transition, the transcription factors that control each developmental stage and the characteristics of long-lived plasma cells.

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