Following activation with antigen, naïve B cells undergo a robust proliferative expansion and differentiation that results in the production of numerous distinct cell types with different roles in protective immunity. While some of the transcriptional regulators and extrinsic factors directing differentiation are known, these mechanisms cannot account for the heterogeneity of the response. In this study we tracked the response of single naïve B cells and found that individual cells do not differentiate into all of the cell types found within a polyclonal response. Thus, the heterogeneity found within the polyclonal response is in part the result of different naïve B cells differentiating differently. Ongoing work is focused on determining the contributions that B cell receptor affinity and stochastic competition play in differentiation.
- Copyright © 2013 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.