Peripheral development of B cells in mouse and man

Immunol Rev. 2004 Feb:197:179-91. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2004.0109.x.


In man and in mouse, B-cell maturation occurs in steps, first in the bone marrow from hematopoietic precursors to immature/transitional B cells, then in the periphery from transitional to fully mature B cells. Each developmental step is tightly controlled by the expression and function of the B-cell receptor (BCR) and by the ability to interact with the microenvironment. Mature B cells collaborate with T cells in the adaptive immune response, leading to the production of high-affinity antibodies. This response is very accurate, but slow. Immediately after pathogen entry, however, antibodies already present in the serum reinforce the innate immune response and contribute to the first-line defense against infection. Low-affinity natural antibodies are produced by B-1a B cells in the mouse and immunoglobulin M (IgM) memory cells in man. These antibodies represent an immediate protection against all microorganisms and the only one against encapsulated bacteria. B-1a and IgM memory B cells may function as a link between the innate and adaptive immune response and thus perform a primordial B-cell function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • CD5 Antigens / administration & dosage
  • CD5 Antigens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Stem Cells / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Vaccination


  • CD5 Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Toll-Like Receptors