Rapid response of marginal zone B cells to viral particles.
Gatto D., Ruedl C., Odermatt B., Bachmann MF.
Marginal zone (MZ) B cells are thought to be responsible for the first wave of Abs against bacterial Ags. In this study, we assessed the in vivo response of MZ B cells in mice immunized with viral particles derived from the RNA phage Qbeta. We found that both follicular (FO) and MZ B cells responded to immunization with viral particles. MZ B cells responded with slightly faster kinetics, but numerically, FO B cells dominated the response. B1 B cells responded similarly to MZ B cells. Both MZ and FO B cells underwent isotype switching, with MZ B cells again exhibiting faster kinetics. In fact, almost all Qbeta-specific MZ B cells expressed surface IgG by day 5. Histological analysis demonstrated that a population of activated B cells remain associated with the MZ, probably due to the elevated integrin levels expressed by these cells. Thus, both MZ and FO B cells respond with rapid proliferation to viral infection and both populations undergo isotype switching, but MZ B cells remain in the MZ and may be responsible for local Ab production, opsonizing pathogens entering the spleen.