Diversification of memory B cells drives the continuous adaptation of secretory antibodies to gut microbiota

Cornelia Lindner, Irene Thomsen, Benjamin Wahl, Milas Ugur, Maya K. Sethi, Michaela Friedrichsen, Anna Smoczek, Stephan Ott, Ulrich Baumann, Sebastian Suerbaum, Stefan Schreiber, André Bleich, Valérie Gaboriau-Routhiau, Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, Helena Hazanov, Ramit Mehr, Preben Boysen, Philip Rosenstiel, Oliver Pabst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) shields the gut epithelium from luminal antigens and contributes to host-microbe symbiosis. However, how antibody responses are regulated to achieve sustained host-microbe interactions is unknown. We found that mice and humans exhibited longitudinal persistence of clonally related B cells in the IgA repertoire despite major changes in the microbiota during antibiotic treatment or infection. Memory B cells recirculated between inductive compartments and were clonally related to plasma cells in gut and mammary glands. Our findings suggest that continuous diversification of memory B cells constitutes a central process for establishing symbiotic host-microbe interactions and offer an explanation of how maternal antibodies are optimized throughout life to protect the newborn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-888
Number of pages9
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2015

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