Humoral Immunity Due to Long-Lived Plasma Cells

Immunity. 1998 Mar;8(3):363-72. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80541-5.

Abstract

Conventional models suggest that long-term antibody responses are maintained by the continuous differentiation of memory B cells into antibody-secreting plasma cells. This is based on the notion that plasma cells are short-lived and need to be continually replenished by memory B cells. We examined the issue of plasma cell longevity by following the persistence of LCMV-specific antibody and plasma cell numbers after in vivo depletion of memory B cells and by adoptive transfer of virus-specific plasma cells into naive mice. The results show that a substantial fraction of plasma cells can survive and continue to secrete antibody for extended periods of time (>1 year) in the absence of any detectable memory B cells. This study documents the existence of long-lived plasma cells and demonstrates a new mechanism by which humoral immunity is maintained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibody Formation
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Cell Survival
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / blood*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plasma Cells / immunology*
  • Radiation Chimera
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Antibodies, Viral