Asymmetric segregation of polarized antigen on B cell division shapes presentation capacity

Abstract

During the activation of humoral immune responses, B cells acquire antigen for subsequent presentation to cognate T cells. Here we show that after mouse B cells accumulate antigen, it is maintained in a polarized distribution for extended periods in vivo. Using high-throughput imaging flow cytometry, we observed that this polarization is preserved during B cell division, promoting asymmetric antigen segregation among progeny. Antigen inheritance correlates with the ability of progeny to activate T cells: Daughter cells receiving larger antigen stores exhibit a prolonged capacity to present antigen, which renders them more effective in competing for T cell help. The generation of progeny with differential capacities for antigen presentation may have implications for somatic hypermutation and class switching during affinity maturation and as B cells commit to effector cell fates.

Journal details

Journal Science
Volume 335
Issue number 6067
Pages 475-479
Publication date

Keywords