Differential transcriptome and development of human peripheral plasma cell subsets

Academic Article


  • Human antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) triggered by immunization are globally recognized as CD19loCD38hiCD27hi. Yet, different vaccines give rise to antibody responses of different longevity, suggesting ASC populations are heterogeneous. We define circulating-ASC heterogeneity in vaccine responses using multicolor flow cytometry, morphology, VH repertoire, and RNA transcriptome analysis. We also tested differential survival using a human cell-free system that mimics the bone marrow (BM) microniche. In peripheral blood, we identified 3 CD19+ and 2 CD19- ASC subsets. All subsets contributed to the vaccine-specific responses and were characterized by in vivo proliferation and activation. The VH repertoire demonstrated strong oligoclonality with extensive interconnectivity among the 5 subsets and switched memory B cells. Transcriptome analysis showed separation of CD19+ and CD19- subsets that included pathways such as cell cycle, hypoxia, TNF-α, and unfolded protein response. They also demonstrated similar long-term in vitro survival after 48 days. In summary, vaccine-induced ASCs with different surface markers (CD19 and CD138) are derived from shared proliferative precursors yet express distinctive transcriptomes. Equal survival indicates that all ASC compartments are endowed with long-lived potential. Accordingly, in vivo survival of peripheral long-lived plasma cells may be determined in part by their homing and residence in the BM microniche.
  • Published In

  • JCI insight  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Garimilla S; Nguyen DC; Halliley JL; Tipton C; Rosenberg AF; Fucile CF; Saney CL; Kyu S; Kaminski D; Qian Y
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 9