B cell memory consists of quiescent memory B cell and bone marrow plasma cell populations, generated in germinal centers during immune responses to T cell dependent antigens. The regulation of cell survival, both within germinal centers and in the maintenance of the effector cells generated in this response, is central to the qualitative and quantitative regulation of memory. In spite of this, the pro- and anti-apoptotic molecules that control survival in these peri-antigenic B cell immune compartments are poorly defined. In this review, we discuss the current perception of the main apoptotic regulators of germinal center B cell, plasma cell, and memory B cell survival during the formation, affinity maturation and maintenance of immunological memory.
- Germinal center