The signals required to generate long-lived plasma cells remain unresolved. One widely cited model posits that long-lived plasma cells derive from germinal centers (GCs) in response to T cell-dependent (TD) Ags. Thus, T cell-independent (TI) Ags, which fail to sustain GCs, are considered ineffective at generating long-lived plasma cells. However, we show that long-lived hapten-specific plasma cells are readily induced without formation of GCs. Long-lived plasma cells developed in T cell-deficient mice after a single immunization with haptenated LPS, a widely used TI Ag. Long-lived plasma cells also formed in response to TD Ag when the GC response was experimentally prevented. These observations establish that long-lived plasma cells are induced in both TI and TD responses, and can arise independently of B cell maturation in GCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy