Normal Induction but Attenuated Progression of Germinal Center Responses in BAFF and BAFF-R Signaling-Deficient Mice

Ziaur S.M. Rahman, Sambasiva P. Rao, Susan L. Kalled, Tim Manser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

179 Scopus citations


The factors regulating germinal center (GC) B cell fate are poorly understood. Recent studies have defined a crucial role for the B cell-activating factor belonging to TNF family (BAFF; also called BLyS) in promoting primary B cell survival and development. A role for this cytokine in antigen-driven B cell responses has been suggested but current data in this regard are limited. A BAFF receptor expressed by B cells (BAFF-R/BR3) is defective in A/WySnJ mice which exhibit a phenotype similar to BAFF-deficient (BAFF-/-) animals. Here, we show that although GC responses can be efficiently induced in both A/WySnJ and BAFF-/- mice, these responses are not sustained. In BAFF-/- mice, this response is rapidly attenuated and accompanied by perturbed follicular dendritic cell development and immune complex trapping. In contrast, analysis of the A/WySnJ GC response revealed a B cell autonomous proliferative defect associated with reduced or undetectable Ki67 nuclear proliferation antigen expression by GC B cells at all stages of the response. These data demonstrate a multifaceted role for the BAFF pathway in regulating GC progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1169
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 20 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this