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Nat Immunol. 2009 Dec;10(12):1292-9. doi: 10.1038/ni.1814. Epub 2009 Oct 25.

Multiple layers of B cell memory with different effector functions.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U783 'Développement du système immunitaire', Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine, Site Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.


Memory B cells are at the center of longstanding controversies regarding the presence of antigen for their survival and their re-engagement in germinal centers after secondary challenge. Using a new mouse model of memory B cell labeling dependent on the cytidine deaminase AID, we show that after immunization with a particulate antigen, B cell memory appeared in several subsets, comprising clusters of immunoglobulin M-positive (IgM(+)) and IgG1(+) B cells in germinal center-like structures that persisted up to 8 months after immunization, as well as IgM(+) and IgG1(+) B cells with a memory phenotype outside of B cell follicles. After challenge, the IgG subset differentiated into plasmocytes, whereas the IgM subset reinitiated a germinal center reaction. This model, in which B cell memory appears in several layers with different functions, reconciles previous conflicting propositions.

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