Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Successful vaccines rely on activating a functional humoral response that results from promoting a proper germinal center (GC) reaction. Key in this process is the activation of follicular B cells that need to acquire antigens and to present them to cognate CD4 T cells. Here, we report that follicular B cells can phagocytose large antigen-coated particles, a process thought to be exclusive of specialized antigen-presenting cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells. We show that antigen phagocytosis by B cells is BCR-driven and mechanistically dependent on the GTPase RhoG. Using Rhog-/- mice, we show that phagocytosis of antigen by B cells is important for the development of a strong GC response and the generation of high-affinity class-switched antibodies. Importantly, we show that the potentiation effect of alum, a common vaccine adjuvant, requires direct phagocytosis of alum-antigen complexes by B cells. These data suggest a new avenue for vaccination approaches by aiming to deliver 1-3 μm size antigen particles to follicular B cells.

Original publication

DOI

10.15252/embr.201846016

Type

Journal article

Journal

EMBO Rep

Publication Date

09/2018

Volume

19

Keywords

B cells, alum, phagocytosis, vaccination