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Annu Rev Immunol. 2009;27:267-85. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.021908.132607.

Human marginal zone B cells.

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INSERM U783, Développement du Système Immunitaire, Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine, Site Necker-Enfants Malades, 75730 Paris Cedex 15, France.


Human marginal zone (MZ) B cells are, in a sense, a new entity. Although they share many properties with their mouse counterpart, they also display striking differences, such as the capacity to recirculate and the presence of somatic mutations in their B cell receptor. These differences are the reason they are often not considered a separate, rodent-like B cell lineage, but rather are considered IgM memory B cells. We review here our present knowledge concerning this subset and the arguments in favor of the proposition that humans have evolved for their MZ B cell compartment a separate B cell population that develops and diversifies its Ig receptor during ontogeny outside T-dependent or T-independent immune responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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