How do follicular dendritic cells interact intimately with B cells in the germinal centre?

Immunology. 2005 Jan;114(1):2-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2004.02075.x.


The germinal centre is a dynamic microenvironment where antigen-activated B cells rapidly expand and differentiate, generating plasma cells and memory B cells. These cellular events are accompanied by dramatic changes in the antibody molecules that undergo somatic hypermutation and isotype switching. Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) are the stromal cells located in the germinal centre. Although the capacity of FDCs to present antigen to B cells through antigen-antibody complexes has been recognized for many years, additional critical functions of FDCs have only recently been recognized. FDCs prevent apoptosis of germinal centre B cells and stimulate cellular interaction and proliferation. Here, we review the FDC signalling molecules that have recently been identified, some of which offer potential therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases and B-cell lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Cell Division / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells, Follicular / immunology*
  • Germinal Center / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology