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Germinal centers (GCs) are crucially involved in T cell-dependent B cell responses. B cells rapidly proliferate within GCs and their Ig variable region genes undergo hypermutation. Cognate T helper cells and antigen presented in native form on follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) select B cells expressing high-affinity Igs, leading to affinity maturation and the generation of memory B cells. In addition to these well-established functions of GCs, this article presents evidence that they also play a crucial role for the maintenance of specific memory Ig titers and for the prevention of viral antibody escape mutants.

Original publication




Journal article


Immunol Res

Publication Date





329 - 344


Animals, Antibodies, Viral, Antibody Affinity, B-Lymphocytes, Germinal Center, Haptens, Immune Tolerance, Immunoglobulins, Immunologic Memory, Mice, Mice, Mutant Strains, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Viruses