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B cells are primarily known for their capacity to differentiate into antibody-secreting cells (ASCs). ASCs are usually viewed as terminally differentiated cells sharing a unique phenotype. However, it lately became evident that ASCs exist in a variety of subsets differing by their lifespan, anatomic location, and immunological function. Thus, ASCs can exist as long-lived plasma cells (LLPC) that can persist for years in a nonproliferating state within particular niches in the bone marrow (BM), or as short-lived plasma cells (SLPC) that are primarily found in secondary lymphoid organs or inflamed tissues and wane upon the termination of the associated immune response. Another layer of ASC diversity was uncovered with the discovery of their capacity to produce various pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines. Notably, a subset of natural regulatory plasma cells characterized by the distinctive expression of the inhibitory receptor lymphocyte activation gene (LAG)-3 and a unique capacity to produce interleukin (IL)-10 upon stimulation was recently identified. Here, we describe how to immunophenotypically characterize murine plasma cells as well as how to isolate them using cell sorting, with a special focus on these recently described natural regulatory plasma cells.


Van Duc Dang, Simon Fillatreau, Andreia C Lino. Purification and Immunophenotypic Characterization of Murine Plasma Cells. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2021;2270:47-59

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PMID: 33479892

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