SFB 1054 Seminar - Michael Meyer-Hermann
Title: Fate decision of B cells in germinal centre reactions
In response to pathogenic challenges new types of antibodies are generated by the organism in a process called germinal centre reaction. It takes place in secondary lymphoid tissues and involves the evolution of B lymphocytes in terms of mutation of the encoded antibody and selection with respect to the fitness to bind molecules of the pathogen, shortly denoted as affinity maturation. The evolution of B cells relies on repeated fate decisions: In cycles of mutation and selection, B cells interact with follicular dendritic cells (FDC) which present the native antigen and with T follicular helper cells (TFH). Interaction and signalling with both cells leads to fate decisions of the B cell. Possible fates are apoptosis, differentiation to plasma or memory cell phenotypes, or restarting the cell cycle. In the latter case, there is increasing evidence that the number of divisions the B cell will undergo is determined by the interactions with FDCs and TFHs as well. The mechanisms of these fate decisions are not well understood and will be elucidated.
Host: Dirk Baumjohann (B12)