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Eur J Immunol. 2007 Jan;37(1):100-9.

The germinal center response is impaired in the absence of T cell-expressed CXCR5.

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Department of Pathology, Laboratory of Immunology and Vascular Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.


Germinal centers support the differentiation of memory B cells and long-lived antibody-secreting cells during infection or upon vaccination. Here, we constructed mice with T cells that selectively lack the chemokine receptor CXCR5 to determine if expression of this receptor by T cells is mandatory for germinal center formation and function. In these animals, germinal centers that are properly localized in B cell follicles and contain T cells do form after immunization with a thymus-dependent antigen. However, fewer and smaller germinal centers form, resulting in a significant reduction in the frequency of germinal center B cells. The defect in germinal center formation is paralleled by decreased frequencies of isotype-switched antibody-secreting cells in the spleen and bone marrow and reduced serum concentrations of total and high-affinity hapten-specific IgG1. The results demonstrate that although CXCR5-dependent T cell positioning is important for maximal induction and expansion of germinal centers, stimulation of isotype class switching, and development of antibody-secreting cells that seed the spleen and bone marrow, it is not absolutely required for the formation and function of follicular germinal centers.

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