Memory B Cells in Mouse Models


Correspondence to: I.-L. Mårtensson, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, University of Gothenburg, Box 480, SE 40530 Göteborg, Sweden. E-mail:


One of the principles behind vaccination, as shown by Edward Jenner in 1796, and host protection is immunological memory, and one of the cells central to this is the antigen-experienced memory B cell that responds rapidly upon re-exposure to the initiating antigen. Classically, memory B cells have been defined as progenies of germinal centre (GC) B cells expressing isotype-switched and substantially mutated B cell receptors (BCRs), that is, membrane-bound antibodies. However, it has become apparent over the last decade that this is not the only pathway to B cell memory. Here, we will discuss memory B cells in mice, as defined by (1) cell surface markers; (2) multiple layers; (3) formation in a T cell–dependent and either GC-dependent or GC-independent manner; (4) formation in a T cell–independent fashion. Lastly, we will touch upon memory B cells in; (5) mouse models of autoimmune diseases.