Memory B-cell clones and the diversity of their members

I C MacLennan, M Casamayor-Palleja, K M Toellner, A Gulbranson-Judge, J Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Memory B-cell clones develop from virgin B cells that take up processed antigen, make cognate interaction with primed T cells and then grow in germinal centres. Within the germinal centre the proliferating B cells undergo Ig variable-region mutation and are subsequently selected on their ability to bind antigen held on follicular dendritic cells and then to make cognate interaction with germinal centre T cells. The selected cells emerge as memory B cells or plasmablasts. Although many of the memory B cells and most of the plasma cells emerging from follicles have undergone Ig class switch recombination a substantial minority of the memory B cells have not switched. These non-switched memory cells can be induced to switch on re-exposure to antigen. Affinity maturation following a single immunization ceases as germinal centres wane some 3-4 weeks after immunization - memory cells and antibody production, on the other hand, persist for months and even years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-34
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • Clone Cells
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Animals
  • Cell Aging
  • Humans
  • Germinal Center
  • Immunologic Memory
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Lymphocyte Cooperation
  • Immunoglobulin Switch Region
  • T-Lymphocytes


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