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Immunol Rev. 2006 Jun;211:269-79.

Transcription factors that regulate memory in humoral responses.

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Department of Microbiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.


At least three types of B lymphocytes are important for providing memory in a humoral immune response: 'classical' memory cells that do not secrete immunoglobulin (Ig), long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs) in the bone marrow, and 'innate-like' B-1 cells. In this review, our work on B-lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1), a critical regulator of terminal B-cell differentiation, is discussed in the context of current knowledge of all transcriptional controls that regulate these three types of B cells. Blimp-1 is not required for formation of memory cells, but it is required for them to progress toward becoming plasma cells. Blimp-1 is required for Ig secretion in plasma cells and in B-1 cells. Induction of the activator X-box-binding protein-1 and formation of mu-secreted mRNA depend on Blimp-1 in both cell types. Finally, even after their formation, LLPCs in the bone marrow continue to require Blimp-1 for their maintenance.

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