B cell

B lymphocyte cell
Transmission electron micrograph of a human B cell
SystemImmune system
Latinlymphocytus B
Anatomical terms of microanatomy
Basic B cell function: bind to an antigen, receive help from a cognate helper T cell, and differentiate into a plasma cell that secretes large amounts of antibodies
3D rendering of a B cell

B cells, also known as B lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell of the lymphocyte subtype.[1] They function in the humoral immunity component of the adaptive immune system.[1] B cells produce antibody molecules which may be either secreted or inserted into the plasma membrane where they serve as a part of B-cell receptors.[2] When a naïve or memory B cell is activated by an antigen, it proliferates and differentiates into an antibody-secreting effector cell, known as a plasmablast or plasma cell.[2] In addition, B cells present antigens (they are also classified as professional antigen-presenting cells, APCs) and secrete cytokines.[1] In mammals, B cells mature in the bone marrow, which is at the core of most bones.[3] In birds, B cells mature in the bursa of Fabricius, a lymphoid organ where they were first discovered by Chang and Glick,[4] which is why the B stands for bursa and not bone marrow, as commonly believed.

B cells, unlike the other two classes of lymphocytes, T cells and natural killer cells, express B cell receptors (BCRs) on their cell membrane.[1] BCRs allow the B cell to bind to a foreign antigen, against which it will initiate an antibody response.[1] B cell receptors are extremely specific, with all BCRs on a B cell recognizing the same epitope.[5]

  1. ^ a b c d e Murphy K (2012). Janeway's Immunobiology (8th ed.). New York: Garland Science. ISBN 9780815342434.
  2. ^ a b Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P (2002). "B Cells and Antibodies". Molecular Biology of the Cell (4th ed.). Garland Science.
  3. ^ Cooper MD (March 2015). "The early history of B cells". Nature Reviews. Immunology. 15 (3): 191–197. doi:10.1038/nri3801. PMID 25656707.
  4. ^ Glick, Bruce; Chang, Timothy S.; Jaap, R. George (1956-01-01). "The Bursa of Fabricius and Antibody Production". Poultry Science. 35 (1): 224–225. doi:10.3382/ps.0350224. ISSN 0032-5791.
  5. ^ Jespersen, Martin Closter; Mahajan, Swapnil; Peters, Bjoern; Nielsen, Morten; Marcatili, Paolo (2019). "Antibody Specific B-Cell Epitope Predictions: Leveraging Information From Antibody-Antigen Protein Complexes". Frontiers in Immunology. 10: 298. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.00298. PMC 6399414. PMID 30863406.

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