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J Immunol. 2012 Jun 1;188(11):5389-96. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102808. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Long-lived bone marrow plasma cells are induced early in response to T cell-independent or T cell-dependent antigens.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The signals required to generate long-lived plasma cells remain unresolved. One widely cited model posits that long-lived plasma cells derive from germinal centers (GCs) in response to T cell-dependent (TD) Ags. Thus, T cell-independent (TI) Ags, which fail to sustain GCs, are considered ineffective at generating long-lived plasma cells. However, we show that long-lived hapten-specific plasma cells are readily induced without formation of GCs. Long-lived plasma cells developed in T cell-deficient mice after a single immunization with haptenated LPS, a widely used TI Ag. Long-lived plasma cells also formed in response to TD Ag when the GC response was experimentally prevented. These observations establish that long-lived plasma cells are induced in both TI and TD responses, and can arise independently of B cell maturation in GCs.

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