The distinctive germinal center phase of IgE+ B lymphocytes limits their contribution to the classical memory response

Jin-Shu He, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Deng Xiangying, Lim Yok Zuan, Leigh Ann Jones, Lakshmi Ramakrishna, Victor C de Vries, Jayashree Dolpady, Hoi Aina, Sabrina Joseph, Sriram Narayanan, Sharrada Subramaniam, Manoj Puthia, Glenn Wong, Huizhong Xiong, Michael Poidinger, Joseph F Urban, Juan J Lafaille, Maria A Curotto de Lafaille

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanisms involved in the maintenance of memory IgE responses are poorly understood, and the role played by germinal center (GC) IgE(+) cells in memory responses is particularly unclear. IgE(+) B cell differentiation is characterized by a transient GC phase, a bias toward the plasma cell (PC) fate, and dependence on sequential switching for the production of high-affinity IgE. We show here that IgE(+) GC B cells are unfit to undergo the conventional GC differentiation program due to impaired B cell receptor function and increased apoptosis. IgE(+) GC cells fail to populate the GC light zone and are unable to contribute to the memory and long-lived PC compartments. Furthermore, we demonstrate that direct and sequential switching are linked to distinct B cell differentiation fates: direct switching generates IgE(+) GC cells, whereas sequential switching gives rise to IgE(+) PCs. We propose a comprehensive model for the generation and memory of IgE responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2755-2771
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov 18
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • B-Lymphocytes/cytology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Germinal Center/cytology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching
  • Immunoglobulin E/metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin G/metabolism
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Immunological
  • Nippostrongylus
  • Plasma Cells/cytology
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Strongylida Infections/immunology


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