ABCB1 transporter discriminates human resting naive B cells from cycling transitional and memory B cells

Eur J Immunol. 2005 Dec;35(12):3433-41. doi: 10.1002/eji.200535364.


The exact identification of B cell subsets is instrumental to understand their dynamics under physiological and pathological conditions. Human memory B cells are currently identified according to the expression of CD27, which is absent on naive B cells. We report here that the ATP-binding cassette (ABC)B1 transporter is exclusively present on mature CD27- naive B cells, while it is absent in CD27+ memory B cells and in a heterogeneous subset of CD27- cells that comprise both switch memory and transitional B cells. Thus, ABCB1 activity precisely discriminates naive from transitional and all memory B cells. Using this improved method to discriminate human B cell subsets, and Ki67 staining to identify recently divided cells, we show that in both cord blood and adult peripheral blood, mature naive B cells are quiescent while transitional B cells and memory B cells have a high in vivo turnover.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / blood*
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / physiology
  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / classification
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Resting Phase, Cell Cycle / immunology*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1