Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), a rare and enigmatic stromal cell type in the B cell follicles of secondary lymphoid organs, store and present antigen to B cells. While essential for germinal center (GC) responses, their exact role during GC B cell selection remains unknown. FDCs upregulate the inhibitory IgG Fc receptor FcγRIIB during GC formation. We show that the stromal deficiency of FcγRIIB does not affect GC B cell frequencies compared to wild-type mice. However, in the absence of FcγRIIB on FDCs, GCs show aberrant B cell selection during autoreactive and selective foreign antigen responses. These GCs are more diverse as measured by the AidCreERT2 -confetti system and show the persistence of IgM+ clones with decreased numbers of IgH mutations. Our results show that FDCs can modulate GC B cell diversity by the upregulation of FcγRIIB. Permissive clonal selection and subsequent increased GC diversity may affect epitope spreading during autoimmunity and foreign responses.
Keywords: CD32; FcγRIIB; autoimmunity; clonal selection; follicular dendritic cells; germinal center.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.