Memory B cells and pneumococcal antibody after splenectomy Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Splenectomy
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae


  • Splenectomized patients are susceptible to bloodstream infections with encapsulated bacteria, potentially due to loss of blood filtering but also defective production of anticarbohydrate Ab. Recent studies propose that a lack of Ab is related to reduced numbers of IgM(+) CD27(+) memory B cells found after splenectomy. To test this, we analyzed CD27(+) memory B cell subsets, IgG, and IgM pneumococcal Ab responses in 26 vaccinated splenectomized subjects in comparison to memory B cell subsets and Ab responses in healthy controls. As shown previously, the splenectomized autoimmune subjects had fewer total, isotype switched, and IgM(+) CD27(+) memory B cells as compared with controls, but there was no difference in memory B cells subsets between controls and splenectomized subjects with spherocytosis. There was no difference between the geometric mean IgG Ab response between normal controls and splenectomized subjects (p = 0.51; p = 0.81). Control subjects produced more IgM Ab than splenectomized autoimmune subjects (p = 0.01) but the same levels as subjects with spherocytosis (p = 0.15.) There was no correlation between memory B cell subsets and IgG or IgM Ab responses for controls or splenectomized subjects. These data suggest that splenectomy alone may not be the sole reason for loss of memory B cells and reduced IgM antipneumococcal Ab. Because subjects with autoimmunity had splenectomy at a significantly older age than participants with spherocytosis, these data suggest that an age-related loss of extra splenic sites necessary for the maintenance or function of memory B cells may lead to impaired immunity in these subjects.

publication date

  • September 2008



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2919219

PubMed ID

  • 18714044

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 3684

end page

  • 9


  • 181


  • 5