B cell-helper neutrophils stimulate the diversification and production of immunoglobulin in the marginal zone of the spleen Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Neutrophils
  • 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.


publication date

  • February 2012



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3262910

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/ni.2194

PubMed ID

  • 22197976

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 170

end page

  • 80


  • 13


  • 2