The changing preference of T and B cells for partners as T-dependent antibody responses develop

Immunol Rev. 1997 Apr;156:53-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065x.1997.tb00958.x.


Recirculating virgin CD4+ T cells spend their life migrating between the T zones of secondary lymphoid tissues where they screen the surface of interdigitating dendritic cells. T-cell priming starts when processed peptides or superantigen associated with class II MHC molecules are recognised. Those primed T cells that remain within the lymphoid tissue move to the outer T zone, where they interact with B cells that have taken up and processed antigen. Cognate interaction between these cells initiates immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch-recombination and proliferation of both B and T cells; much of this growth occurs outside the T zones B cells migrate to follicles, where they form germinal centres, and to extrafollicular sites of B-cell growth, where they differentiate into mainly short-lived plasma cells. T cells do not move to the extrafollicular foci, but to the follicles; there they proliferate and are subsequently involved in the selection of B cells that have mutated their Ig variable-region genes. During primary antibody responses T-cell proliferation in follicles produces many times the peak number of T cells found in that site: a substantial proportion of the CD4+ memory T-cell pool may originate from growth in follicles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell