Plexin-D1 is a novel regulator of germinal centers and humoral immune responses.
Long-lived humoral immune responses depend upon the generation of memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells during the germinal center (GC) reaction. These memory compartments, characterized by class-switched IgG and high-affinity Abs, are the basis for successful vaccination. We report that a new member of the plexin family of molecules, plexin-D1, controls the GC reaction and is required for secondary humoral immune responses. Plexin-D1 was not required for B cell maturation, marginal zone precursor development, dark and light zone formation, Igλ(+) and Igκ(+) B cell skewing, B1/B2 development, and the initial extrafollicular response. Plexin-D1 expression was increased following B cell activation, and PlxnD1(-/-) mice exhibited defective GC reactions during T-dependent immune activation. PlxnD1(-/-) B cells showed a defect in migration toward the GC chemokines, CXCL12, CXCL13, and CCL19. Accordingly, PlxnD1(-/-) mice exhibited defective production of IgG1 and IgG2b, but not IgG3 serum Ab, accompanied by reductions in long-lived bone marrow plasmacytes and recall humoral memory responses. These data show a new role for immune plexins in the GC reaction and generation of immunologic memory.
Holl, EK; O'Connor, BP; Holl, TM; Roney, KE; Zimmermann, AG; Jha, S; Kelsoe, G; Ting, JP-Y
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