Follicular Dendritic Cells: Antigen Retention, B Cell Activation, and Cytokine Production

Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 201)


Follicular dendritic cells (FDC) are located in dynamic microenvironments that are essential for generating effective and complete humoral responses. These anatomical locations present features of either a primary follicular nodule or a secondary structure known as the germinal center. During primary and secondary exposure to antigen, germinal centers develop within primary follicles according to a set time course (Fig. 1; Coico et al. 1983 ; Tew et al. 1992 ) . The outcome of the complicated cellular interactions occurring in germinal centers is an increased frequency of antigen-experienced (i.e., memory) circulating B cells and preplasma cells that will finish their differentiation process elsewhere. The humoral response also matures during the germinal center reaction through the mechanisms of class switching, somatic mutation, and clonal selection (reviewed in Kosco and Gray 1992 ; Maclennan 1994).


Germinal Center Tetanus Toxoid Follicular Dendritic Cell Primary Immunization Popliteal Lymph Node 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bosseloir A, Hooghe-Peters EL, Heinen E, Cormann N, Kinet-Donoel C, Simar L (1989) Localization of interleukin 6 mRNA in human tonsils by in situ hybridization. Eur J Immunol 19: 2379–2381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brunet JF, Denizot F, Luciani MF, Roux DM, Suzan M, Mattei MG, Golstein P (1987) A new member of the immunoglobulin superfamily—CTLA-4. Nature 328: 267–269PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Butch AW, Chung GH, Hoffmann JW, Nahm MH (1993) Cytokine expression by germinal center cells. J Immunol 150: 39–47PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Carter RH, Fearon DT (1989) Polymeric C3dg primes human B lymphocytes for proliferation induced by anti-lgM. J Immunol 143: 1755–1760PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Coico RF, Bhogal S, Thorbecke GJ (1983) Relationship of germinal centers in lymphoid tissue to immunologic memory. VI. Transfer of B cell memory with lymph node cells fractionated according to their receptors for peanut agglutinin. J Immunol 131: 2254–2257PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Donaldson SL, Kosco MH, Szakal AK, Tew JG (1986) Localization of antibody-forming cells in draining lymphoid organs during long-term maintenance of the antibody response. J Leukoc Biol 40: 147–157PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Freedman AS, Freeman G, Horowitz JC, Daley J, Nadler LM (1987) B7, a B cell-restricted antigen that identifies preactivated B cells. J Immunol 139: 3260–3267PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gray D (1992) The dynamics of immunological memory. Semin Immunol 4: 29–34PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gray D, Leanderson T (1990) Expansion, selection and maintenance of memory B-cell clones. In: Gray D, Sprent I (eds) Immunological memory. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 1–17 (Current topics in microbiology and immunology, vol 159 )CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gray D, Skarvall H (1988) B cell memory is short-lived in the absence of antigen. Nature 336: 70–73PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ho F, Lortan JE, MacLennan ICM, Khan M (1986) Distinct short-lived and long-lived antibody producing cell populations. Eur J Immunol 16: 1297–1301PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kapasi ZF, Burton GF, Shultz LD, Tew JG, Szakal AK (1993) Induction of functional follicular dendritic cell development in severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Influence of B and T cells. J Immunol. 150: 2648–2658Google Scholar
  13. Kishimoto T (1989) The biology of interleukin-6. Blood 74: 1–10PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kosco MH, Gray D (1992) Signals involved in germinal center reactions. Immunol Rev 126: 63–76PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kosco MH, Szakal AK, Tew JG (1988) In vivo obtained antigen presented by germinal center B cells to T cells in vitro. J Immunol 140: 354–360PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kosco MH, Pflugfelder E, Gray D (1992) Follicular dendritic cell-dependent adhesion and proliferation of B cells in vitro. J Immunol 148: 2331–2339PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kosco-Vilbois MH, Gray D, Scheidegger D, Julius M (1993) Follicular dendritic cells help resting B cells to become effective antigen presenting cells: induction of B7/BB1 and upregulation of MHC class II molecules. J Exp Med 178: 2055–2066PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lane P, Burdet C, Hubele S, Scheidegger D, Muller U, McConnell F, Kosco-Vilbois M (1994) B cell function in mice transgenic for mCTKA4-Hy1: lack of germinal centers correlated with poor affinity maturation and class switching despite normal priming of CD4+ T cells. J Exp Med 179: 810–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leger-Ravet MB, Peuchmaur M, Devergen O, Audouin J, Raphael Mf Van Damme J, Galanaud P, Diebold J, Emilie D (1991) lnterleukin-6 gene expression in Castleman’s disease. Blood 78: 2923–2930Google Scholar
  20. Lindhout E, Mevissen ML, Kwekkeboom J, Tager JM, de Groot C (1993) Direct evidence that human follicular dendritic cells ( FDC) rescue germinal centre B cells from death by apoptosis. Clin Exp Immunol 91: 330–336Google Scholar
  21. Linsley PS, Clark EA, Ledbetter JA (1990) T cell antigen CD28 mediates adhesion with B cells by interacting with activation antigen B7/BB1. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87: 5031–5035PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Linsley PS, Greene JL, Tan P, Bradshaw J, Ledbetter JA, Anasetti C, Damle NK (1992) Coexpression and functional cooperation of CTLA-4 and CD28 on activated T lymphocytes. J Exp Med 176: 1595–1604PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. MacLennan ICM (1994) Germinal centers. Annu Rev Immunol 12: 117–139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mandel TE, Phipps RP, Abbot A, Tew JG (1980) The follicular dendritic cell: long term antigen retention during immunity. Immunol Rev 53: 29PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. MatsumotoAK, Kopicky-Burd J, Carter RH, Tuveson DA, Tedder TF, Fearon DT (1991) Intersection of the complement and immune systems: a signal transduction complex of the B lymphocyte-containing complement receptor type 2 and CD19. J Exp Med 173: 55–64Google Scholar
  26. Matzinger P (1994) Memories are made of this? Nature 369: 605–606PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Orscheschek K, Merz H, Schlegelberger B, Feller A (1994) An immortalized cell line with features of human follicular dendritic cells. Eur J Immunol 24: 2682–2690Google Scholar
  28. Rademakers LH (1992) Dark and light zones of germinal centres of the human tonsil: an ultrastructural study with emphasis on heterogeneity of follicular dendritic cells. Cell Tissue Res 269: 359–368PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ronchese F, Housemann B, Hubele S, Lane P (1994) Mice transgenic for a soluble form of murine CTLA-4 show enhanced expansion of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells defective antibody production in vivo. J Exp Med 179: 809–817PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schriever F, Freeman G, Nadler LM (1991) Follicular dendritic cells contain a unique gene repertoire demonstrated by single-cell polymerase chain reaction. Blood 77: 787–791PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Szakal AK, Kosco MH, Tew JG (1988) A novel in vivo follicular dendritic cell-dependent iccosomemediated mechanism for delivery of antigen to antigen-processing cells. J Immunol 140: 341–353PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Szakal AK, Kosco MH, Tew JG (1989) Microanatomy of lymphoid tissue during humoral immune responses: structure function relationships. Annu Rev Immunol 7: 91–110PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tew JG, Phipps RP, Mandel TE (1980) The maintenance and regulation of the humoral immune response: persisting antigen and the role of follicular antigen-binding dendritic cells as accessory cells. Immunol Rev 53: 175–201PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tew JG, Kosco MH, Szakal AK (1989) The alternative antigen pathway. Immunol Today 10: 229–232PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tew JG, Dilosa RM, Burton GF, Kosco MH, Kupp LI, Masuda A, Szakal AK (1992) Germinal centers and antibody production in bone marrow. Immunol Rev 126: 99–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Basel Institute for ImmunologyBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.GLAXO Institute for Molecular BiologyPlan-les-OuatesSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations