Dendritic cells capable of stimulating T cells in germinal centres

Nature. 1996 Nov 28;384(6607):364-7. doi: 10.1038/384364a0.


The B cells within the germinal centres of lymphoid organs undergo affinity maturation of their antigen receptors, a critical event for antibody memory. Follicular dendritic cells within the germinal centres retain immune complexes that select the developing B cells for which they have a higher affinity. We have now identified a subset of CD4+ CD11c+ CD3- dendritic cells in the germinal centres. These are strong antigen-presenting cells for T cells, but do not co-stimulate CD40-activated B cells. These dendritic cells probably stimulate germinal centre T cells and aid the complicated processes that are required for the generation of memory B cells.

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD3 Complex
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Germinal Center / cytology
  • Germinal Center / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Palatine Tonsil / cytology


  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD3 Complex