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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of adhesion and migration in the germinal center microenvironment.

T cell dependent humoral immune responses are initiated by the activation of naive B cells in the T cell areas of the secondary lymphoid tissues. This primary B cell activation leads to migration of germinal center (GC) cell precursors into B cell follicles where they engage follicular dendritic cells (FDC) and T cells, and differentiate into memory B cells or plasma cells. Both B cell homing to the GC and interaction with FDC critically depend on integrin-mediated adhesion. We have recently indentified the c-met-encoded receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand, the growth and motility factor hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor ( HGF/ SF), as a novel paracrine signalling pathway regulating B cell adhesion (van der Voort et al., 1997, J. Exp. Med. 185, 2121-2131). The c-Met protein is expressed on B cells localized in the dark zone of the GC (centroblasts) and is induced by CD40 plus BCR ligation. Stimulation of c-Met with HGF/ SF, which is produced at high levels by tonsillar stromal cells and FDC, leads to receptor phosphorylation and to enhanced integrin-mediated adhesion of B cells to both VCAM-1 and fibronectin. Interestingly, these responses to HGF/ SF are promoted by heparan-sulfate proteoglycan forms of CD44 (CD44-HS). Like c-Met, CD44-HS is induced on B cells by CD40 ligation. It efficiently binds HGF/ SF and strongly promotes signalling through c-Met. We conclude that integrin regulation during antigen specific B cell differentiation involves cross-talk between the HGF/ SF-c-Met pathway and CD44-HS.[1]


  1. Regulation of adhesion and migration in the germinal center microenvironment. Pals, S.T., Taher, T.E., van der Voort, R., Smit, L., Keehnen, R.M. Cell Adhes. Commun. (1998) [Pubmed]
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