Development and migration of plasma cells in the mouse lymph node

David R. Fooksman, Tanja A. Schwickert, Gabriel D. Victora, Michael L. Dustin, Michel C. Nussenzweig, Dimitris Skokos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


In this study, we imaged the differentiation and migratory behavior of nascent plasma cells (PCs) in mouse lymph nodes by intravital microscopy. Pre-PCs exhibited a unique migration pattern characterized by long, linear paths that were randomly oriented. Although chemotaxis via Gαi coupled-receptors has been implicated in PC migration, treatment with Pertussis toxin (Ptx), which ablates these signals, did not prevent movement of pre-PCs while it arrested other lymphocytes. In vitro, pre-PCs displayed processive amoeboid locomotion on surfaces coated with integrin ligand, whereas fully differentiated PCs moved slowly or were arrested. Both PC arrest and differentiation occurred in the medullary cords. Ptx treatment before PC differentiation blocked their accumulation in the medullary cords but pre-PCs still differentiated in other lymph node regions. Taken together, we suggest pre-PCs undergo a persistent random walk to find the medullary cords, where localized chemokines help retain these cells until they undergo differentiation and arrest in situ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellimmuno
  • Molimmuno

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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