Antigen Presentation to B Cells

Trends Immunol. 2016 Dec;37(12):844-854. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Oct 25.


Unlike T cells that recognize digested peptides, B cells recognize their cognate antigen in its native form. The B cell receptor used in recognition can also be secreted to bind to antigens and initiate multiple effector functions such as phagocytosis, complement activation, or neutralization of receptors. While B cells can interact with soluble antigens, it is now clear that the presentation of membrane-bound antigen plays a crucial role in B cell activation, and in particular during affinity-maturation, the process during which high-affinity B cells are selected. In this review we discuss how native antigen is presented to B cells and its impact at several stages of B cell responses.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology*
  • Antigens / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Clonal Selection, Antigen-Mediated
  • Complement Activation
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism*


  • Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell