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J Immunol. 2009 Jan 15;182(2):890-901.

Resting human memory B cells are intrinsically programmed for enhanced survival and responsiveness to diverse stimuli compared to naive B cells.

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Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia.


Enhanced secondary Ab responses are a vital component of adaptive immunity, yet little is understood about the intrinsic and extrinsic regulators of naive and memory B cells that result in differences in their responses to Ag. Microarray analysis, together with surface and intracellular phenotyping, revealed that memory B cells have increased expression of members of the TNF receptor, SLAM (signaling lymphocytic activation molecule), B7, and Bcl2 families, as well as the TLR-related molecule CD180 (RP105). Accordingly, memory B cells exhibited enhanced survival, proliferation, and Ig secretion, and they entered division more rapidly than did naive B cells in response to both T cell-dependent and T cell-independent stimuli. Furthermore, both IgM and isotype-switched memory B cells, but not naive B cells, costimulated CD4+ T cells in vitro through a mechanism dependent on their constitutive expression of CD80 and CD86. This study demonstrates that up-regulation of genes involved in activation, costimulation, and survival provides memory B cells with a unique ability to produce enhanced immune responses and contributes to the maintenance of the memory B cell pool.

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