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The SWHEL system for high-resolution analysis of in vivo antigen-specific T-dependent B cell responses.


T cell-dependent B cell responses generate optimal antibodies to combat foreign antigens. Naive B cells responding to antigen undergo a complex series of differentiation events and cell fate decisions to provide long-lived memory B cells and plasma cells. Historically, B cell biologists have been challenged by the task of investigating rare antigen-specific B cells in an in vivo setting such that their interactions with antigen, regulation and migration may be accurately tracked. We have developed the SWHEL experimental system capable of accurately monitoring B cells that interact with a protein antigen and then subsequently undergo isotype switching, somatic hypermutation, and affinity maturation within germinal centers (GC) to generate high-affinity antibodies. Here we provide a comprehensive description of the procedures involved in establishing and using the SWHEL system to assess B cell responses to a foreign antigen. This system can provide a valuable measure of the functional capabilities of T follicular helper cells, whose role is ultimately to support and shape long-term humoral immunity.

Type Journal
Authors Brink, R.; Paus, D.; Bourne, K.; Hermes, J. R.; Gardam, S.; Phan, T. G.; Chan, T. D.;
Publisher Name Methods in Molecular Biology
Published Date 2015-04-08
Published Volume 1291
Published Pages 103-23
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version