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Germinal centers (GCs) are microanatomical structures critical for the development of high-affinity Abs and B cell memory. They are organized into two zones, light and dark, with coordinated roles, controlled by local signaling. The innate lectin-like transcript 1 (LLT1) is known to be expressed on B cells, but its functional role in the GC reaction has not been explored. In this study, we report high expression of LLT1 on GC-associated B cells, early plasmablasts, and GC-derived lymphomas. LLT1 expression was readily induced via BCR, CD40, and CpG stimulation on B cells. Unexpectedly, we found high expression of the LLT1 ligand, CD161, on follicular dendritic cells. Triggering of LLT1 supported B cell activation, CD83 upregulation, and CXCR4 downregulation. Overall, these data suggest that LLT1-CD161 interactions play a novel and important role in B cell maturation within the GC in humans.

Original publication

DOI

10.4049/jimmunol.1502462

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Immunol

Publication Date

01/03/2016

Volume

196

Pages

2085 - 2094

Keywords

B-Lymphocytes, Cell Separation, Down-Regulation, Flow Cytometry, Germinal Center, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Lectins, C-Type, Lymphocyte Activation, NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Receptors, CXCR4, Receptors, Cell Surface