Cutting edge: back to "one-way" germinal centers.
Meyer-Hermann ME., Maini PK.
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.