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Nat Immunol. 2016 Oct;17(10):1226-34. doi: 10.1038/ni.3533. Epub 2016 Aug 15.

Defining antigen-specific plasmablast and memory B cell subsets in human blood after viral infection or vaccination.

Author information

1
Emory Vaccine Center, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
2
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
3
Department of Pathology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.
4
Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
5
Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
6
Department of Clinical and Toxicological Analyses, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
7
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
8
Viral Special Pathogens Branch, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
9
Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
10
Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

Antigen-specific B cells bifurcate into antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) and memory B cells (MBCs) after infection or vaccination. ASCs (plasmablasts) have been extensively studied in humans, but less is known about B cells that become activated but do not differentiate into plasmablasts. Here we have defined the phenotype and transcriptional program of a subset of antigen-specific B cells, which we have called 'activated B cells' (ABCs), that were distinct from ASCs and were committed to the MBC lineage. We detected ABCs in humans after infection with Ebola virus or influenza virus and also after vaccination. By simultaneously analyzing antigen-specific ASCs and ABCs in human blood after vaccination against influenza virus, we investigated the clonal overlap and extent of somatic hypermutation (SHM) in the ASC (effector) and ABC (memory) lineages. Longitudinal tracking of vaccination-induced hemagglutinin (HA)-specific clones revealed no overall increase in SHM over time, which suggested that repeated annual immunization might have limitations in enhancing the quality of influenza-virus-specific antibody.

PMID:
27525369
PMCID:
PMC5054979
DOI:
10.1038/ni.3533
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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