B cells activated by antigen in T cell-dependent immune responses can become short-lived plasma cells, which remain in the spleen, or germinal center-derived memory or plasma cells, which show evidence of affinity maturation and, in the case of plasma cells, migrate to the bone marrow. We show that this cell fate decision can be governed by the cytokine environment engendered by activated dendritic cells (DCs). DCs from mice lacking the Fc receptor γ chain exhibited an activated phenotype in vitro. They secreted more of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-12, which led to the preferential generation of short-lived splenic plasma cells, with ensuing low affinity antibodies and a diminished recall response. Understanding the factors that regulate antigen-activated B cell differentiation and memory cell formation has implications for both antibody-mediated autoimmune disease and protective antibody responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy