Publications

Human Germinal Center B Cells Differ from Naïve and Memory B Cells in CD40 Expression and CD40L-Induced Signaling Response

Huse, K., Wogsland, C.E., Polikowsky, H.G. et al.

CD40 expression is required for germinal center (GC) formation and function, but the kinetics and magnitude of signaling following CD40 engagement remain poorly characterized in human B cells undergoing GC reactions. Here, differences in CD40 expression and signaling responses were compared across differentiation stages of mature human tonsillar B cells. A combination of mass cytometry and phospho-specific flow cytometry was used to quantify protein expression and CD40L-induced signaling in primary human naïve, GC, and memory B cells. Protein expression signatures of cell subsets were quantified using viSNE and Marker Enrichment Modeling (MEM). This approach revealed enriched expression of CD40 protein in GC B cells, compared to naïve and memory B cells. Despite this, GC B cells responded to CD40L engagement with lower phosphorylation of NFκB p65 during the first 30 min following CD40L activation. Before CD40L stimulation, GC B cells expressed higher levels of suppressor protein IκBα than naïve and memory B cells. Following CD40 activation, IκBα was rapidly degraded and reached equivalently low levels in naïve, GC, and memory B cells at 30 min following CD40L. Quantifying CD40 signaling responses as a function of bound ligand revealed a correlation between bound CD40L and degree of induced NFκB p65 phosphorylation, whereas comparable IκBα degradation occurred at all measured levels of CD40L binding. These results characterize cell-intrinsic signaling differences that exist in mature human B cells undergoing GC reactions.

Citation

Huse, K., Wogsland, C.E., Polikowsky, H.G. et al. "Human Germinal Center B Cells Differ from Naïve and Memory B Cells in CD40 Expression and CD40L-Induced Signaling Response" Cytometry Part A (2019): 442–9