Unique maturation program of the IgE response in vivo

Immunity. 2007 Feb;26(2):191-203. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2006.12.006. Epub 2007 Feb 8.


A key event in the pathogenesis of asthma and allergies is the production of IgE antibodies. We show here that IgE(+) cells were exceptional because they were largely found outside germinal centers and expressed, from very early on, a genetic program of plasma cells. In spite of their extragerminal center localization, IgE(+) cells showed signs of somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. We demonstrated that high-affinity IgE(+) cells could be generated through a unique differentiation program that involved two phases: a pre-IgE phase in which somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation take place in IgG1(+) cells, and a post-IgE-switching phase in which IgE cells differentiate swiftly into plasma cells. Our results have implications for the understanding of IgE memory responses in allergy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Germinal Center / cytology
  • Germinal Center / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Mice
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin E