Microenvironmental niches in the bone marrow required for B-cell development

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Feb;6(2):107-16. doi: 10.1038/nri1780.


B-cell development is known to occur in a complex bone-marrow microenvironment but its functional organization remains unclear. It is thought that bone-marrow stromal cells create distinct microenvironments, known as niches, that provide support for haematopoiesis and B-cell development. Although it has been more than 20 years since the development of a culture system that allows the growth of B-cell progenitors on bone-marrow-derived stromal cells in vitro, it is only recently that studies have provided a novel basis for understanding the nature of the niches for B-cell development in vivo. This article summarizes the recent advances in research on the earliest B-cell precursors, their requisite environmental factors and the cellular niches that supply these factors and maintain B cells during their development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Bone Marrow / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Stromal Cells / cytology
  • Stromal Cells / immunology