Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 184–190 | Cite as

The function and origin of follicular dendritic cells

  • J. H. Humphrey


Follicular dendritic cells (dendritic reticular cells) in germinal centres bind antigen - antibody complexesvia C3 receptors and retain the complexes at their surface for long periods of time. The follicular dendritic cells (FDC) are distinct from macrophages and from dendritic cells found in T-dependent areas, and are not derived from bone marrow stem cells. On histological evidence it has been proposed that they are derived from reticulum cells. Complexes are probably transported to FDC by a subpopulation of B cells in the marginal zone. Binding of complexes to FDC causes germinal centre enlargement and is a very efficient, and possibly essential stimulus to the generation of B memory cells which recognize epitopes on antigen or antibody in the complexes. An hypothesis is discussed which draws together these observations and suggests that antigen on FDC plays a central role in control of humoral immunity.


Memory Cell Germinal Centre Marginal Zone Reticulum Cell Follicular Dendritic Cell 
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Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Humphrey
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Postgraduate Medical SchoolHammersmith HospitalLondonEngland

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