Do plasma cells contribute to the determination of their lifespan?

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Longevity of plasma cells is dependent on their ability to access and reside in so-called survival niches that are predominantly located in the bone marrow. It is proposed that by some process a small fraction of the plasma cells generated in response to new antigen challenges can enter into the long-lived repertoire by displacing existing plasma cells. Several lines of research show that this process is not stochastic as not all resident, long-lived plasma cells appear equally likely to be displaced. The basis of these differences might reside in the niches, the plasma cells or a combination of both factors that intersect to create a distribution of susceptibility to replacement and lifespans. In this review, I consider factors that might vary in plasma cells and thus influence their access to niches and the ability of newly generated plasma cells to survive over the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-455
Number of pages7
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Antibody
  • apoptosis
  • niches
  • turnover
  • vaccines

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