Clonal selection in the germinal centre by regulated proliferation and hypermutation

Alexander D. Gitlin, Ziv Shulman, Michel C. Nussenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During immune responses, B lymphocytes clonally expand and undergo secondary diversification of their immunoglobulin genes in germinal centres (GCs)(1-4). High-affinity B cells are expanded through iterative interzonal cycles of division and hypermutation in the GC dark zone followed by migration to the GC light zone, where they are selected on the basis of affinity to return to the dark zone(5-10). Here we combine a transgenic strategy to measure cell division and a photoactivatable fluorescent reporter to examine whether the extent of clonal expansion and hypermutation are regulated during interzonal GC cycles. We find that both cell division and hypermutation are directly proportional to the amount of antigen captured and presented by GC B cells to follicular helper T cells in the light zone. Our data explain how GC B cells with the highest affinity for antigen are selectively expanded and diversified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637–640
Number of pages4
Issue number7502
Early online date4 May 2014
StatePublished - 29 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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