Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The lung is an important entry site for pathogens; its exposure to antigens results in systemic as well as local IgA and IgG antibodies. Here we show that intranasal administration of virus-like particles (VLPs) results in splenic B-cell responses with strong local germinal-center formation. Surprisingly, VLPs were not transported from the lung to the spleen in a free form but by B cells. The interaction between VLPs and B cells was initiated in the lung and occurred independently of complement receptor 2 and Fcγ receptors, but was dependent upon B-cell receptors. Thus, B cells passing through the lungs bind VLPs via their B-cell receptors and deliver them to local B cells within the splenic B-cell follicle. This process is fundamentally different from delivery of blood or lymph borne particulate antigens, which are transported into B cell follicles by binding to complement receptors on B cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





20566 - 20571


Administration, Intranasal, Adoptive Transfer, Animals, Antibodies, Viral, Antigens, Viral, B-Lymphocytes, Cell Movement, Female, Immunoglobulin G, Lung, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell, Receptors, Complement 3d, Receptors, IgG, Spleen, Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle