Affinity maturation and Ab class switches occur in lymphoid germinal centers (GCs), in which differentiation and maintenance depend on lymphotoxin (LT) signaling and include differentiation of follicular dendritic cells (FDCs). The events leading to FDC and GC maturation are poorly defined. Using several approaches of functional genomics, we enumerated transcripts affected in mice by suppressing LT β receptor (LTβR) signaling and/or overrepresented in FDC-enriched GC isolates. Protein expression analysis of 3 of 12 genes both enriched in FDCs and down-regulated by LTβR signaling suppression validated them as FDC markers. Functional analysis of one of these three, clusterin, suggests a role as an FDC-derived trophic factor for GC B cells. Hence, the set of genes presented in this study includes markers emanating from LTβR signaling and transcripts relevant to GC and FDC function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy