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Understanding the differentiation of B cells following vaccination

Naïve B cell activation and proliferation is only the first step in a protective response. Activated B cells must also undergo a complicated process of differentiation in order to produce long-lived antibody-secreting plasma cells and long-lived memory B cells. In previous work we have assessed the number and phenotype of memory B cells generated through the germinal center-dependent and germinal center-independent pathways. Using an in vivo limited dilution approach we have found that a single antigen-specific naïve murine B cell usually does not produce progeny that differentiate down each developmental pathway. Current work is focused upon understanding the B cell intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that control differentiation. The ultimate goal of this work is to be able to direct B cell differentiation to ensure that B cells expressing potentially-protective antibodies enter the optimal differentiation pathway to produce long-lived protective progeny.

Active Dates 
07/01/2018 to 06/30/2021