Recent studies have established that memory B cells, largely thought to be circulatory in the blood, can take up long-term residency in inflamed tissues, analogous to widely described tissue-resident T cells. The dynamics of recruitment and retention of memory B cells to tissues and their immunological purpose remains unclear. Here, we characterized tissue-resident memory B cells (BRM) that are stably maintained in the lungs of mice after pulmonary influenza infection. Influenza-specific BRM were localized within inducible bronchus-associated lymphoid tissues (iBALTs) and displayed transcriptional signatures distinct from classical memory B cells in the blood or spleen while showing partial overlap with memory B cells in lung-draining lymph nodes. We identified lung-resident markers, including elevated expression of CXCR3, CCR6, and CD69, on hemagglutinin (HA)- and nucleoprotein (NP)-specific lung BRM. We found that CCR6 facilitates increased recruitment and/or retention of BRM in lungs and differentiation into antibody-secreting cells upon recall. Although expression of CXCR3 and CCR6 was comparable in total and influenza-specific memory B cells isolated across tissues of human donors, CD69 expression was higher in memory B cells from lung and draining lymph nodes of human organ donors relative to splenic and PBMC-derived populations, indicating that mechanisms underpinning BRM localization may be evolutionarily conserved. Last, we demonstrate that human memory B cells in lungs are transcriptionally distinct to populations in lung-draining lymph nodes or PBMCs. These data suggest that BRM may constitute a discrete component of B cell immunity, positioned at the lung mucosa for rapid humoral response against respiratory viral infections.
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PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't