Floating the raft hypothesis: the roles of lipid rafts in B cell antigen receptor function

Semin Immunol. 2001 Apr;13(2):107-14. doi: 10.1006/smim.2000.0302.


The initiation of antibody responses to foreign antigens requires that B cells receive and integrate a variety of signals through an array of cell surface receptors including the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) as well as a number of essential coreceptors. Recent evidence indicates that cholesterol-rich plasma membrane microdomains, referred to here as lipid rafts, serve as platforms for BCR signaling and trafficking in B cells. The existence of rafts suggests a previously unappreciated level of organization at the B cell surface that may explain, at least in part, how BCR signaling is coordinated. Here the current evidence that lipid rafts play a key role in B cell responses is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens / immunology
  • Antigens, CD19 / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Microdomains / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology*
  • Receptors, Complement 3d / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Receptors, Complement 3d