The microanatomic segregation of selection by apoptosis in the germinal center

Christian T. Mayer, Anna Gazumyan, Ervin E. Kara, Alexander D. Gitlin, Jovana Golijanin, Charlotte Viant, Joy Pai, Thiago Y. Oliveira, Qiao Wang, Amelia Escolano, Max Medina-Ramirez, Rogier W. Sanders, Michel C. Nussenzweig

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122 Citations (Scopus)


B cells undergo rapid cell division and affinity maturation in anatomically distinct sites in lymphoid organs called germinal centers (GCs). Homeostasis is maintained in part by B cell apoptosis. However, the precise contribution of apoptosis to GC biology and selection is not well defined. We developed apoptosis-indicator mice and used them to visualize, purify, and characterize dying GC B cells. Apoptosis is prevalent in the GC, with up to half of all GC B cells dying every 6 hours. Moreover, programmed cell death is differentially regulated in the light zone and the dark zone: Light-zone B cells die by default if they are not positively selected, whereas dark-zone cells die when their antigen receptors are damaged by activation-induced cytidine deaminase
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-+
Issue number6360
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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