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Plasma cells: finding new light at the end of B cell development

Authors
  • Calame, Kathryn L.1
  • 1 Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, 10032, USA , New York (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature Immunology
Publisher
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2001
Volume
2
Issue
12
Pages
1103–1108
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/ni1201-1103
Source
Springer Nature
License
Yellow

Abstract

Plasma cells are cellular factories devoted entirely to the manufacture and export of a single product: soluble immunoglobulin (Ig). As the final mediators of a humoral response, plasma cells play a critical role in adaptive immunity. Although intense effort has been devoted to studying the regulation and requirements for early B cell development, little information has been available on plasma cells. However, more recent work—including studies on genetically altered mice and data from microarray analyses—has begun to identify the regulatory cascades that initiate and maintain the plasma cell phenotype. This review will summarize our current understanding of the molecules that regulate commitment to a plasma cell fate and those that mediate plasma cell function.

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