Antibody repertoire diversity and plasticity is crucial for broad protective immunity. Repertoires change in size and diversity across multiple B cell developmental stages and in response to antigen exposure. However, we still lack fundamental quantitative understanding of the extent to which repertoire diversity is predetermined. Therefore, we implemented a systems immunology framework for quantifying repertoire predetermination on three distinct levels: (1) B cell development (pre-B cell, naive B cell, plasma cell), (2) antigen exposure (three structurally different proteins), and (3) four antibody repertoire components (V-gene usage, clonal expansion, clonal diversity, repertoire size) extracted from antibody repertoire sequencing data (400 million reads). Across all three levels, we detected a dynamic balance of high genetic (e.g., >90% for V-gene usage and clonal expansion in naive B cells) and antigen-driven (e.g., 40% for clonal diversity in plasma cells) predetermination and stochastic variation. Our study has implications for the prediction and manipulation of humoral immunity.
Keywords: Ig-seq; bioinformatics; systems immunology.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.