Published Online: 15 MAY 2013
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Bondada, S., Chelvarajan, R. L. and Gururajan, M. 2013. B Lymphocytes. eLS. .
- Published Online: 15 MAY 2013
Bone marrow-derived (B) lymphocytes are antibody-producing cells in the body. Antibody production is initiated on recognition of antigen via a specific immunoglobulin receptor, and reception of growth and differentiation signals. B lymphocytes are also important for the activation of helper T lymphocytes and are integral for the memory component of the immune response. A variety of B cell subsets exist that have distinct phenotypes and functions. Effector B cells mediate B-cell responses to antigens and vaccines, whereas regulatory B cells mediate suppression of T cells. In addition to antibody secretion, B cells present antigen to T cells, and B-cell secretion of soluble factors like cytokines and chemokines is important for B-cell responses to infectious diseases. Excessive or uncontrolled B-cell activation lead to the development of B-cell lymphoma and autoimmune diseases. Therapeutic antibodies that deplete B cells are in clinical use for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.
B cells develop in the bone marrow.
B lymphocytes mediate antibody responses.
B cell maturation occurs in the bone marrow and in the spleen.
Mature B cells reside in the secondary lymphoid organs like spleen and lymph nodes.
B cell subsets are defined by surface marker expression and phenotypic characteristics.
Thymus independent (TI) antigens activate B cells without a need for antigen-specific helper T cells. Thymus-dependent (TD) antigens have an obligate requirement for cognate interaction with antigen-specific helper T cells to activate B cells.
B cells differentiate into plasma cells that secrete antibodies.
Antibodies bind to antigens and neutralise the infection (neutralising antibodies).
B cell depletion is an effective therapy in B lymphoma and autoimmune diseases.
- B-1 cells;
- B-2 cells;
- isotype switching;
- memory cells;
- thymus-independent antigens;
- thymus-dependent antigens