Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22025722
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Nov;108(44):18044-8
Long-term humoral immunity is maintained by the formation of high-affinity class-switched memory B cells and long-lived antibody-secreting plasma cells. In healthy humans, a substantial fraction of IgG-positive memory B cells express self-reactive and polyreactive IgG antibodies that frequently develop by somatic mutations. Whether self- and polyreactive IgG-secreting B cells are also tolerated in the long-lived plasma cell pool is not known. To address this question, we cloned and expressed the Ig genes from 177 IgG-producing bone marrow plasma cells of four healthy donors. All antibodies were highly mutated but the frequency of self- and polyreactive IgG antibodies was significantly lower than that found in circulating memory B cells. The data suggest that in contrast to the development of memory B cells, entry into the bone marrow plasma cell compartment requires previously unappreciated selective regulation by mechanisms that limit the production of self- and polyreactive serum IgG antibodies.