B cells

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B cells or B lymphocytes develop from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and are involved in the humoral response. The B-cell receptor is a membrane-bound immunoglobulin. There are approximately 105 B cell receptors on the plasma membrane surface[1]. The receptor of the B cell binds an antigen and delivers this inside the cell in a vesicle where the antigen undergoes processing and is then presented on the cell surface as a complex with an MHC class 2 molecule. CD4+ T cells then respond to this antigen presentation by releasing cytokines leading to B cell proliferation and differentiation. B cells differentiate into plasma memory cells and antibody-secreting cells [2].


  1. Alberts, B. (2014) Molecular Biology of the Cell. 6th Edition. New York: Garland Sciences. Chapter 24 pg 1315-1316
  2. Murphy, K. (2012) Janeway's Immunobiology. 8th Edition. New York: Garland Sciences. Chapter 8.1 and Chapter 10 introduction.
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