Multiple layers of B cell memory with different effector functions

Nat Immunol. 2009 Dec;10(12):1292-9. doi: 10.1038/ni.1814. Epub 2009 Oct 25.


Memory B cells are at the center of longstanding controversies regarding the presence of antigen for their survival and their re-engagement in germinal centers after secondary challenge. Using a new mouse model of memory B cell labeling dependent on the cytidine deaminase AID, we show that after immunization with a particulate antigen, B cell memory appeared in several subsets, comprising clusters of immunoglobulin M-positive (IgM(+)) and IgG1(+) B cells in germinal center-like structures that persisted up to 8 months after immunization, as well as IgM(+) and IgG1(+) B cells with a memory phenotype outside of B cell follicles. After challenge, the IgG subset differentiated into plasmocytes, whereas the IgM subset reinitiated a germinal center reaction. This model, in which B cell memory appears in several layers with different functions, reconciles previous conflicting propositions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / enzymology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytidine Deaminase
  • Germinal Center / cytology
  • Germinal Center / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Cytidine Deaminase