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Eur J Immunol. 1986 Jul;16(7):829-34.

Antigen-induced changes in B cell subsets in lymph nodes: analysis by dual fluorescence flow cytofluorometry.


Changes in the representation and surface phenotype of defined B cell subsets in murine lymph nodes stimulated with keyhole limpet hemocyanin or sheep red blood cells have been analyzed by two-color immunofluorescence fluorocytometric analysis. Shortly after immunization with either antigen there is a dramatic increase in both the frequency and absolute number of IgM+, IgD+ B cells, which is followed by the formation of germinal centers. Germinal center cells, as soon as they appear on day 3 after primary immunization, bind high levels of peanut agglutinin, bear low levels of surface IgM but no detectable surface IgD, and are characterized by lack of staining with MEL-14, a monoclonal antibody which recognizes a lymphocyte surface receptor involved in lymphocyte homing. The level of I-A and H-2K region-encoded surface antigens on early germinal center cells is higher than on PNAlo B cells. During the first 7 days of the germinal centers there is a progressive decrease in the average level of H-2K but not of Ia antigens. A similar decrease was observed for ThB. It is confirmed that the germinal center cell population contains the majority of antigen-binding cells in the stimulated lymph node. These findings indicate that B cells are recruited nonspecifically to antigen-stimulated lymph nodes, and that the antigen-specific cells then selectively participate in the formation of germinal centers where they undergo specific differentiation events.

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