Development of B Lymphocytes


B cells are a central component of the humoral arm of the immune system and are essential in protecting against infection and disease. They mediate their effector functions through the production of neutralizing antibody, induction of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and activation of the complement system. B cells are produced throughout the duration of our life, and the efficiency with which they are generated is affected by extrinsic and intrinsic factors including chemokines, cytokines, and transcription factors. Severe immunodeficiency is observed in cases where B cell development is reduced or absent and results in persistent infection. This chapter will focus on the molecular mechanisms regulating the survival, commitment, differentiation, and selection of B cells as they develop from hematopoietic progenitors to fully functional mature effector B cells.


Cell Development Marginal Zone Stem Cell Factor Severe Combine Immunodeficiency Disease Allelic Exclusion 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyUniversity of Toronto, Ontario Cancer InstituteTorontoCanada

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