T-independent type II immune responses generate memory B cells

J Exp Med. 2006 Feb 20;203(2):305-10. doi: 10.1084/jem.20052036. Epub 2006 Feb 13.


Unlike T-dependent immune responses against protein antigens, T-independent responses against polysaccharides confer long-lasting humoral immunity in the absence of recall responses and are not known to generate memory B cells. Here we report that polysaccharide antigens elicit memory B cells that are phenotypically distinct from those elicited by protein antigens. Furthermore, memory B cell responses against polysaccharides are regulated by antigen-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies. As the generation and regulation of immunologic memory is central to vaccination, our findings help explain the mode of action of the few existing polysaccharide vaccines and provide a rationale for a wider application of polysaccharide-based strategies in vaccination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, T-Independent / physiology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / physiology
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lymphocyte Activation / genetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Polysaccharides / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / deficiency
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics


  • Antigens, T-Independent
  • Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Polysaccharides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell