Plasma cell output from germinal centers is regulated by signals from Tfh and stromal cells

Yang Zhang, Laura Tech, Laura A George, Andreas Acs, Russell E Durrett, Henry Hess, Lucy S K Walker, David M Tarlinton, Anne L Fletcher, Anja Erika Hauser, Kai-Michael Toellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
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Germinal centers (GCs) are the sites where B cells undergo affinity maturation. The regulation of cellular output from the GC is not well understood. Here, we show that from the earliest stages of the GC response, plasmablasts emerge at the GC-T zone interface (GTI). We define two main factors that regulate this process: Tfh-derived IL-21, which supports production of plasmablasts from the GC, and TNFSF13 (APRIL), which is produced by a population of podoplaninCD157high fibroblastic reticular cells located in the GTI that are also rich in message for IL-6 and chemokines CXCL12, CCL19, and CCL21. Plasmablasts in the GTI express the APRIL receptor TNFRSF13B (TACI), and blocking TACI interactions specifically reduces the numbers of plasmablasts appearing in the GTI. Plasma cells generated in the GTI may provide an early source of affinity-matured antibodies that may neutralize pathogens or provide feedback regulating GC B cell selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1243
Number of pages17
JournalThe Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date16 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2018


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