Trafficking of B cell antigen in lymph nodes

Annu Rev Immunol. 2011;29:215-33. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-031210-101255.


The clonal selection theory first proposed by Macfarlane Burnet is a cornerstone of immunology (1). At the time, it revolutionized the thinking of immunologists because it provided a simple explanation for lymphocyte specificity, immunological memory, and elimination of self-reactive clones (2). The experimental demonstration by Nossal & Lederberg (3) that B lymphocytes bear receptors for a single antigen raised the central question of where B lymphocytes encounter antigen. This question has remained mostly unanswered until recently. Advances in techniques such as multiphoton intravital microscopy (4, 5) have provided new insights into the trafficking of B cells and their antigen. In this review, we summarize these advances in the context of our current view of B cell circulation and activation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology*
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*


  • Antigens