Send to

Choose Destination
Immunol Cell Biol. 2008 Jan;86(1):31-9. Epub 2007 Nov 20.

Visualizing the effects of antigen affinity on T-dependent B-cell differentiation.

Author information

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia.


Burnet's original description of the clonal selection hypothesis of antibody production included many prescient predictions of how 'lymphocytes carrying reactive sites' for foreign antigens might respond during immune responses. Somatic mutation, plasma cell differentiation and transition into memory cells were all described as potential fates for the 'variety of descendents' derived from proliferative expansion of antigen-reactive clones. After 50 years much is known about the molecular controls that drive these various processes. Comparatively little insight has been gained, however, into why particular daughter cells progress down one response pathway versus another. In this article, we briefly describe the evolution of the genetic technologies that now allow us to visualize the very processes predicted by Burnet. An in-depth description of the recently developed SW(HEL) mouse model and its utility for tracking in vivo B-cell responses to various forms of hen-egg lysozyme (HEL) is also provided. Recent data obtained with this system indicate that antigen-dependent variables play a critical role in regulating the differentiation of responding B cells into antibody-secreting plasma cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center