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Blood

A novel human B cell subpopulation representing the initial germinal center population to express AID.


PMID 17132718

Abstract

We have identified a novel mature human B-cell subpopulation in the human tonsil that has characteristics of both naive B cells and germinal center B cells including the expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), which is essential for the process of immunoglobulin somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination. These cells are clearly somatically hypermutated, albeit modestly. Their phenotype (IgD(+)CD38(-)CD23(-)FSC(hi)CD71(+)) is unique and suggests they may be intermediate between both naive and germinal center cells. Morphologically they are also distinct from other B-cell subpopulations. The evidence presented suggests these cells may be the founder cells of the germinal center reaction (a pro-GC cell) and may be the normal counterpart of the mantle cell lymphoma cell.