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Immunity. 1998 Mar;8(3):363-72.

Humoral immunity due to long-lived plasma cells.

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  • 1Emory Vaccine Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Abstract

Conventional models suggest that long-term antibody responses are maintained by the continuous differentiation of memory B cells into antibody-secreting plasma cells. This is based on the notion that plasma cells are short-lived and need to be continually replenished by memory B cells. We examined the issue of plasma cell longevity by following the persistence of LCMV-specific antibody and plasma cell numbers after in vivo depletion of memory B cells and by adoptive transfer of virus-specific plasma cells into naive mice. The results show that a substantial fraction of plasma cells can survive and continue to secrete antibody for extended periods of time (>1 year) in the absence of any detectable memory B cells. This study documents the existence of long-lived plasma cells and demonstrates a new mechanism by which humoral immunity is maintained.

PMID:
9529153
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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