Germinal centres: role in B-cell physiology and malignancy

Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Jan;8(1):22-33. doi: 10.1038/nri2217.


Over the past several years, studies on normal and malignant B cells have provided new insights into the unique physiology of the germinal centre (GC). In particular, advances in technology have allowed a more precise dissection of the phenotypes of GC B cells and the specific transcriptional programmes that are responsible for this phenotype. Furthermore, substantial progress has been made in the understanding of the mechanism controlling the exit of B cells from the GC and the decision to become a memory B cell or plasma cell. This Review focuses on these recent advances and discusses their implications for the pathogenesis of B-cell lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Germinal Center / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / physiopathology