Title: Activated germinal centre B cells undergo directed migration

Authors: Mark J. O'Connor, Anja E. Hauser, Ann M. Haberman, Steven H. Kleinstein

Addresses: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA. ' Immune Dynamics, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, D-10117 Berlin, Germany. ' Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. ' Interdepartmental Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Department of Pathology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Abstract: Affinity maturation, the fundamental basis for adaptive immunity, is accomplished through somatic hypermutation of B-cell receptors followed by expansion of rare mutants with higher affinity for the immunising antigen. This process occurs over a period of weeks in unique micro-anatomic sites known as germinal centres. Two-photon microscopy has recently made it possible to track individual cells moving within germinal centres in living animals. Here we apply statistical approaches to test the hypothesis that B-cell motion is random. Our results show that activated B cells move in a directed manner that sharply contrasts with the behaviour of naïve B cells.

Keywords: germinal centres; random walk; lymphocyte migration; two-photon microscopy; computational immunology; bioinformatics; affinity maturation; adaptive immunity; B-cell receptors; B cells; B-cell motion.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDMB.2011.040387

International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics, 2011 Vol.5 No.3, pp.321 - 331

Published online: 25 May 2011 *

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