Human marginal zone B cells

Annu Rev Immunol. 2009:27:267-85. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.021908.132607.


Human marginal zone (MZ) B cells are, in a sense, a new entity. Although they share many properties with their mouse counterpart, they also display striking differences, such as the capacity to recirculate and the presence of somatic mutations in their B cell receptor. These differences are the reason they are often not considered a separate, rodent-like B cell lineage, but rather are considered IgM memory B cells. We review here our present knowledge concerning this subset and the arguments in favor of the proposition that humans have evolved for their MZ B cell compartment a separate B cell population that develops and diversifies its Ig receptor during ontogeny outside T-dependent or T-independent immune responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Humans
  • Hyper-IgM Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Hyper-IgM Immunodeficiency Syndrome / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin D / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin D / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7 / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7 / metabolism


  • Immunoglobulin D
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7