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Immunol Rev. 1992 Apr;126:21-45.

Cellular interactions in the germinal center: role of adhesion receptors and significance for the pathogenesis of AIDS and malignant lymphoma.

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Department of Pathology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The germinal center forms a specialized microenvironment that is thought to play a key role in the induction of antibody synthesis, affinity maturation of B cells, isotype switching, and memory B-cell formation. Moreover, the germinal center may also be involved in the maintenance of T-cell memory. In this paper we focus on the role of adhesion receptors in cellular interactions in the germinal center, and discuss evidence indicating that these molecules play an important role in regulating B-cell activation and differentiation. Furthermore, we discuss two important diseases involving the germinal center, i.e., HIV infection and malignant lymphoma. In HIV infection, destruction of the FDC network may explain the selective loss of memory cells observed in otherwise asymptomatic patients and is likely to represent a major pathway leading to AIDS. In follicular lymphoma, escape from physiological apoptosis in the germinal center by overexpression of Bcl-2 appears be a major pathogenetic pathway.

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