Lymph node germinal centers form in the absence of follicular dendritic cell networks

Pandelakis A. Koni, Richard A. Flavell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Follicular dendritic cell networks are said to be pivotal to both the formation of germinal centers (GCs) and their functions in generating antigen-specific antibody affinity maturation and B celt memory. We report that lymphotoxin β-deficient mice form GC cell clusters in the gross anatomical location expected of GCs, despite the complete absence of follicular dendritic cell networks. Furthermore, antigen-specific GC generation was at first relatively normal, but these GCs then rapidly regressed and GC-phase antibody affinity maturation was reduced. Lymphotoxin β-deficient mice also showed substantial B cell memory in their mesenteric lymph nodes. This memory antibody response was of relatively low affinity for antigen at week 4 after challenge, but by week 10 after challenge was comparable to wild-type, indicating that affinity maturation had failed in the GC phase but developed later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-864
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • B cell memory
  • Follicular dendritic cells
  • Germinal centers
  • Knockout mice
  • Lymphotoxin β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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