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J Immunol. 2001 Nov 15;167(10):5669-77.

Immunological memory: contribution of memory B cells expressing costimulatory molecules in the resting state.

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Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Traditionally, emphasis has been placed on the roles of Th cells in generating and amplifying both cellular and humoral memory responses. Little is known about the potential contributions of B cell subsets to immunological memory. Resting memory B cells have generally been regarded as poor APC, attributed in part to the relative paucity of costimulatory molecules identified on their surface. We describe a novel subpopulation of human memory B cells that express CD80 in their resting state, are poised to secrete particularly large amounts of class switched Igs, and can efficiently present Ag to and activate T cells. This functionally distinct B cell subset may represent an important mechanism by which quiescent human B cells can initiate and propagate rapid and vigorous immune memory responses. Finally, these studies extend recent observations in the murine system and highlight the phenotypic and functional diversity that exists within the human B cell memory compartment.

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