Genetic timestamping of plasma cells in vivo reveals tissue-specific homeostatic population turnover

Elife. 2020 Nov 2:9:e59850. doi: 10.7554/eLife.59850.


Plasma cells (PCs) are essential for protection from infection, and at the origin of incurable cancers. Current studies do not circumvent the limitations of removing PCs from their microenvironment and confound formation and maintenance. Also, the investigation of PC population dynamics has mostly relied on nucleotide analog incorporation that does not label quiescent cells, a property of most PCs. The main impediment is the lack of tools to perform specific genetic manipulation in vivo. Here we characterize a genetic tool (JchaincreERT2) in the mouse that permits first-ever specific genetic manipulation in PCs in vivo, across immunoglobulin isotypes. Using this tool, we found that splenic and bone marrow PC numbers remained constant over-time with the decay in genetically labeled PCs being compensated by unlabeled PCs, supporting homeostatic population turnover in these tissues. The JchaincreERT2 tool paves the way for an in-depth mechanistic understanding of PC biology and pathology in vivo, in their microenvironment.

Keywords: B cells; Blimp1; Jchain; cre-loxP; homeostasis; immunology; inflammation; mouse; plasma cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • Homeostasis*
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Specificity
  • Plasma Cells / immunology*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE127267