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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

Impact factor: 3.698

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v23.i3.10
50 pages

Antigen-Specific B-Lymphocyte Activation

Gail A. Bishop
Departments of Microbiology, Internal Medicine, and the Graduate Program in Immunology, The University of Iowa; and the VAMC, Iowa City, IA 52242
Sokol A. Haxhinasto
Department of the Graduate Program in Immunology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242
Laura L. Stunz
Departments of Microbiology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242 and VA Medical Center, Iowa City, IA 52246
Bruce S. Hostager
Departments of Pediatrics, The University of Iowa; and the VAMC, Iowa City, IA 52242

ABSTRACT

B lymphocytes comprise a major component of the adaptive mammalian immune system, having the exclusive ability to produce and secrete immunoglobulins (Ig) of various forms (isotypes). This property alone renders B-cell activation critical to immunity, but the fully activated B cell also functions in antigen presentation and the production of a variety of cytokines and chemokines. There are many signals that must be coordinated to achieve and properly regulate antigen-specific B-lymphocyte activation and the development of humoral memory. This review seeks to summarize these components, and to highlight recent advances in each area that contribute to a greater understanding of the complex processes involved in B-cell activation.