B Cell Development Pathways

Click on the different stages of B cell development to see the human & mouse markers that can be used to distinguish each cell type.

Interactive Pathways

Bone Marrow
Bone Marrow
Hematopoietic
Stem Cell
Hematopoietic
Stem Cell
Multipotent
Progenitor Cell
Multipotent
Progenitor Cell
Common
Lymphoid
Progenitor
Common
Lymphoid
Progenitor
B Lymphocyte
Progenitor
B Lymphocyte
Progenitor
Mouse B1
Progenitor
Mouse B1
Progenitor
Mouse B2
Progenitor
Mouse B2
Progenitor
Pre-Pro B
Cell
Pre-Pro B
Cell
Pro-B
Cell
Pro-B
Cell
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Pro-BCR
Pro-BCR
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Ig
alpha/
beta
Ig
alpha/
beta
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Pre-B Cell
Pre-B Cell
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Pre-
BCR
Pre-
BCR
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Ig alpha/
beta
Ig alpha/
beta
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Immature B Cell
Immature B Cell
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Mature
BCR
Mature
BCR
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Ig alpha/
beta
Ig alpha/
beta
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Spleen
Spleen
Mouse Transitional
B1 Cell
(from B1 Progenitor)
Mouse Transitional
B1 Cell
(from B1 Progenitor)
Memory B Cell
Memory B Cell
Ig alpha/beta
Ig alpha/beta
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B1a
B1a
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B1b
B1b
Human
Transitional/
Mouse T1 B Cell
(from B2 Progenitor)
Human
Transitional/
Mouse T1 B Cell
(from B2 Progenitor)
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BCR
BCR
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Ig alpha/
beta
Ig alpha/
beta
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Mouse T2 B Cell
Mouse T2 B Cell
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BCR
BCR
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Ig alpha/
beta
Ig alpha/
beta
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Naive Mature
B Cell
Naive Mature
B Cell
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BCR
BCR
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Long-lived
Plasma Cell
Long-lived
Plasma Cell
Peripheral Blood
Peripheral Blood
Peripheral Blood
Peripheral Blood
Follicular
B Cell
Follicular
B Cell
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BCR
BCR
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Ig alpha/
beta
Ig alpha/
beta
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Marginal
Zone B Cell
Marginal
Zone B Cell
BCR
BCR
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Short-lived Plasma Cell
Short-lived Plasma Cell
Activated B Cell
Activated B Cell
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BCR
BCR
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Ig alpha/
beta
Ig alpha/
beta
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Antigen
Antigen
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Activated Germinal
Center B Cell
Activated Germinal
Center B Cell
Follicular Helper
T Cells
Follicular Helper
T Cells
Germinal Center
Germinal Center
Spleen, Lymph Nodes,
and Mucosal-Associated
Lymphoid Tissue
Spleen, Lymph Nodes,
and Mucosal-Associated
Lymphoid Tissue
Plasmablast
Plasmablast
Ig alpha/
beta
Ig alpha/
beta
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BCR
BCR
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Overview of B Cell Development Pathways

B lymphocytes (B cells) are an integral part of the humoral immune response. They originate from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow, which is seeded during embryonic development by HSCs from the fetal liver. The initial stages of B cell development are antigen-independent and involve the generation of several intermediary precursor cells that arise from B lymphocyte progenitor cells including Pre-Pro-B cells, Pro-B cells, and Pre-B cells, which develop into immature B cells. During these stages of development, B cells undergo immunoglobulin gene rearrangement resulting in the expression of a mature B cell receptor (BCR) that is capable of binding to antigen. This is followed by a selection process that involves BCR editing or clonal deletion, designed to eliminate self-reactive immature B cells. The majority of immature B cells that survive this selection process leave the bone marrow and migrate to the spleen where they differentiate into transitional immature B cells that then become immunocompetent naïve mature B cells. Most naïve B cells develop into follicular B cells, while a small population becomes marginal zone B cells (frequently called IgM memory B cells in human). Following antigen-dependent activation, follicular B cells participate in germinal center reactions where they differentiate into memory B cells or long-lived, antibody-secreting plasma cells. While these developmental stages are similar for human B cells and mouse conventional B2 cells, a second mouse B1 cell lineage has also been described. B1 cells are abundant in the peritoneal cavities and can be further subdivided into B1a and B1b subsets. These along with other B cell precursor cells and functionally distinct subtypes including marginal zone B cells, follicular B cells, memory B cells, plasma cells, and regulatory B cells can be distinguished from each other based on the expression of the cell surface and intracellular markers shown here.

To learn more, please visit our B Cell Research Area..

B Cell Development Pathways background image 1