B cell-helper neutrophils stimulate the diversification and production of immunoglobulin in the marginal zone of the spleen
Neutrophils use immunoglobulins to clear antigen, but their role in immunoglobulin production is unknown. Here we identified neutrophils around the marginal zone (MZ) of the spleen, a B cell area specialized in T cell-independent immunoglobulin responses to circulating antigen. Neutrophils colonized peri-MZ areas after postnatal mucosal colonization by microbes and enhanced their B cell-helper function after receiving reprogramming signals, including interleukin 10 (IL-10), from splenic sinusoidal endothelial cells. Splenic neutrophils induced immunoglobulin class switching, somatic hypermutation and antibody production by activating MZ B cells through a mechanism that involved the cytokines BAFF, APRIL and IL-21. Neutropenic patients had fewer and hypomutated MZ B cells and a lower abundance of preimmune immunoglobulins to T cell-independent antigens, which indicates that neutrophils generate an innate layer of antimicrobial immunoglobulin defense by interacting with MZ B cells.