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The present status of germinal center (GC) research is revisited using in silico simulations based on recent lymphocyte motility data in mice. The generally adopted view of several rounds of somatic hypermutations and positive selection is analyzed with special emphasis on the spatial organization of the GC reaction. We claim that the development of dark zones is not necessary for successful GC reactions to develop. We find that a recirculation of positively selected centrocytes to the dark zone is rather unlikely. Instead we propose a scenario that combines a multiple-step mutation and selection concept with a "one-way" GC in the sense of cell migration.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





2489 - 2493


Animals, B-Lymphocyte Subsets, Cell Communication, Cell Cycle, Cell Differentiation, Cell Proliferation, Clone Cells, Computational Biology, Dendritic Cells, Follicular, Germinal Center, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, Models, Immunological, Rats, T-Lymphocyte Subsets