Heterogeneity in the differentiation and function of memory B cells

Trends Immunol. 2012 Dec;33(12):590-7. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2012.07.005. Epub 2012 Aug 21.


Vaccines that induce neutralizing antibodies have led to the eradication of small pox and have severely reduced the prevalence of many other infections. However, even the most successful vaccines do not induce protective antibodies in all individuals, and can fail to induce lifelong immunity. A key to remedying these shortcomings may lie in a better understanding of long-lived memory B cells. Recent studies have revealed novel insights into the differentiation and function of these cells, and have shown that the memory B cell pool is much more heterogeneous than previously appreciated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Germinal Center / cytology
  • Germinal Center / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Immunologic Memory*


  • Immunoglobulin M