The human spleen is a major reservoir for long-lived vaccinia virus-specific memory B cells

Maria Mamani-Matsuda, Antonio Cosma, Sandra Weller, Ahmad Faili, Caroline Staib, Loïc Garçon, Olivier Hermine, Odile Beyne-Rauzy, Claire Fieschi, Jacques Olivier Pers, Nina Arakelyan, Bruno Varet, Alain Sauvanet, Anne Berger, François Paye, Jean Marie Andrieu, Marc Michel, Bertrand Godeau, Pierre Buffet, Claude Agnès Reynaud*Jean Claude Weill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


The fact that you can vaccinate a child at 5 years of age and find lymphoid B cells and antibodies specific for this vaccination 70 years later remains an immunologic enigma. It has never been determined how these long-lived memory B cells are maintained and whether they are protected by storage in a special niche. We report that, whereas blood and spleen compartments present similar frequencies of lgG+ cells, antismallpox memory B cells are specifically enriched in the spleen where they account for 0.24% of all lgG + cells (ie, 10-20 million cells) more than 30 years after vaccination. They represent, in contrast, only 0.07% of circulating lgG + B cells in blood (ie, 50-100 000 cells). An analysis of patients either splenectomized or rituximab-treated confirmed that the spleen is a major reservoir for longlived memory B cells. No significant correlation was observed between the abundance of these cells in blood and serum titers of antivaccinia virus antibodies in this study, including in the contrasted cases of B celldepleting treatments. Altogether, these data provide evidence that in humans, the two arms of B-cell memory-long-lived memory B cells and plasma cells-have specific anatomic distributions-spleen and bone marrowana nomeostatic regulation

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4653-4659
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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