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CD138 and CD31 double-positive cells comprise the functional antibody-secreting plasma cell compartment in primate bone marrow.


Plasma cells (PCs) are defined as terminally differentiated B cells that secrete large amounts of immunoglobulin (Ig). PCs that reside in the bone marrow (BM) are responsible for maintaining long-term antibody (Ab) responses after infection and vaccination, while PCs present in the blood are generally short-lived. In rhesus macaques, a species frequently used for the evaluation of human vaccines, B cells resemble those found in humans. However, a detailed characterization of BM-resident rhesus PC phenotype and function is lacking. Here, we examined Ig secretion of distinct rhesus CD138+ populations by B cell ELISpot analysis to couple phenotype with function. We demonstrate that the CD20low/-CD138+CD31+ BM population was highly enriched for antibody-secreting cells with IgG being the predominant isotype (60%), followed by IgA (33%) and IgM (7%). Transmission electron microscopy analysis confirmed PC enrichment in the CD20low/-CD138+CD31+ population with cells containing nuclei with ""spokes of a wheel"" chromatin structure and prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum. This panel also stained human BM PCs and allowed a clear distinction between BM PCs and short-lived peripheral PCs, providing an improved strategy to isolate PCs from rhesus BM for further analysis.

Type Journal
Authors Martinez-Murillo, P.; Pramanik, L.; Sundling, C.; Hultenby, K.; Wretenberg, P.; Spangberg, M.; Karlsson Hedestam, G. B.
Publisher Name Frontiers in Immunology
Published Date 2016-12-01
Published Volume 7
Published Pages 242
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version