Regulation of CD27 expression in the course of germinal center B cell differentiation: the pivotal role of IL-10

Eur J Immunol. 2000 Aug;30(8):2437-43. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(2000)30:8<2437::AID-IMMU2437>3.0.CO;2-M.


The molecules of the TNF superfamily and their receptors play crucial roles in the humoral immune response. In view of the powerful effects on germinal center (GC) B cell differentiation, the expression of these molecules should be tightly regulated. In this study, we have undertaken a detailed analysis of the regulation of CD27 expression following the differentiation of GC B cells supported by a follicular dendritic cell line. We show that CD27 is differentially expressed on B cell subpopulations at different stages of differentiation. Naive B cells are virtually negative but plasma cells generated in vivo are strongly positive for CD27 expression. GC B cells that exhibit a moderate expression of CD27 remarkably up-regulate the expression levels of this molecule when they differentiate into plasma cells, which is induced by IL-10. The up-regulation of CD27 expression correlates with that of CD38. Therefore, high expression of CD27 molecules emerges as a specific marker for plasma cells. Our results suggest an important role for CD27 in the differentiation of GC B cells into plasma cells. Evaluation of CD27 expression levels may be of a clinical significance in assessment of B cell maturation in immunocompromised patients.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Germinal Center / physiology*
  • Interleukin-10 / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7 / analysis*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7
  • Interleukin-10