Development and selection of marginal zone B cells

Academic Article


  • It is now clear that functionally distinct subsets of mature peripheral B cells exist. Of these subsets, marginal zone (MZ) B cells in the spleen are strategically positioned at the blood-lymphoid interface and are programmed to initiate a fast and intense antibody response to blood-borne viral and bacterial agents. Their ability to respond vigorously to antigen and polyclonal activators make MZ B cells key players in the early response to pathogens in the bloodstream. The specialized functions of these innate-like lymphocytes bridge the gap between the early innate immune response and the slower adaptive antibody response, affected mainly by the more prolific follicular B cells. MZ B cells, like B1 cells, are important not only to combat infections but also in the maintenance of host homeostasis. Here we discuss some aspects of MZ B-cell selection and function in health and disease.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lopes-Carvalho T; Kearney JF
  • Start Page

  • 192
  • End Page

  • 205
  • Volume

  • 197