Plasma cell ontogeny defined by quantitative changes in Blimp-1 expression

Axel Kallies, Jhagvaral Hasbold, David M. Tarlinton, Wendy Dietrich, Lynn M. Corcoran, Philip D. Hodgkin, Stephen L. Nutt

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Plasma cells comprise a population of terminally differentiated B cells that are dependent on the transcriptional regulator B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp-1) for their development. We have introduced a gfp reporter into the Blimp-1 locus and shown that heterozygous mice express the green fluorescent protein in all antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) in vivo and in vitro. In vitro, these cells display considerable heterogeneity in surface phenotype, immunoglobulin secretion rate, and Blimp-1 expression levels. Importantly, analysis of in vivo ASCs induced by immunization reveals a developmental pathway in which increasing levels of Blimp-1 expression define developmental stages of plasma cell differentiation that have many phenotypic and molecular correlates. Thus, maturation from transient plasmablast to long-lived ASCs in bone marrow is predicated on quantitative increases in Blimp-1 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-977
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2004


  • Antibody secretion
  • B-lymphopoiesis
  • Plasma cell
  • Prdml
  • Syndecan-1
  • Terminal differentiation

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