Immunity 2009 Aug 21;31(2):259-69. Epub 2009 Jul
Basten, A; Brink, R.; Gatto, D; Mackay, CR; Paus, D
Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia.
Humoral immunity depends on both rapid and long-term antibody production against invading pathogens. This is achieved by the generation of spatially distinct extrafollicular plasmablast and follicular germinal center (GC) B cell populations, but the signals that guide responding B cells to these alternative compartments have not been fully elucidated. Here, we show that expression of the orphan G protein-coupled receptor Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 2 (EBI2, also known as GPR183) by activated B cells was essential for their movement to extrafollicular sites and induction of early plasmablast responses. Conversely, downregulation of EBI2 enabled B cells to access the center of follicles and promoted efficient GC formation. EBI2 therefore provides a previously uncharacterized dimension to B cell migration that is crucial for coordinating rapid versus long-term antibody responses.