The Humoral Immune Response Is Initiated in Lymph Nodes by B Cells that Acquire Soluble Antigen Directly in the Follicles

Kathryn A Pape, Drew M. Catron, Andrea A. Itano, Marc Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

253 Scopus citations

Abstract

The initial step in a humoral immune response involves the acquisition of antigens by B cells via surface immunoglobulin. Surprisingly, anatomic studies indicate that lymph-borne proteins do not have access to the follicles where naive B cells reside. Thus, it is unclear how B cells acquire antigens that drain to lymph nodes. By tracking a fluorescent antigen and a peptide:MHC II complex derived from it, we show that antigen-specific B cells residing in the follicles acquire antigen within minutes of injection, first in the region closest to the subcapsular sinus where lymph enters the lymph node. Antigen acquisition, presentation, and subsequent T cell-dependent activation did not require B cell migration through the T cell area or exposure to dendritic cells. These results indicate that the humoral response is initiated as soluble antigens diffuse directly from lymph in the subcapsular sinus to be acquired by antigen-specific B cells in the underlying follicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-502
Number of pages12
JournalImmunity
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 27 2007

Keywords

  • CELLIMMUNO

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