Humoral immunity and long-lived plasma cells

Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Aug;14(4):517-21. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(02)00356-4.


A selected fraction of plasmablasts enters the compartment of nondividing, long-lived plasma cells to maintain humoral antibody memory. In accord with a current model for lymphocyte homeostasis, the lifetime of long-lived plasma cells is probably regulated by competition for a limited number of survival niches present in splenic red pulp, bone marrow and inflamed tissue. Plasma cells secreting autoantibodies specific for some, but not all, self-antigens are probably 'allowed' to enter the compartment of long-lived plasma cells and provide antibody-mediated 'autoimmune memory' that is resistant to conventional therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Survival
  • Homeostasis
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • Plasma Cells / immunology*
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Autoantibodies