What are B-Lymphocytes?   B-lymphocytes, or B-cells, are white blood cells that regulate the humoral response of the adaptive immune system.

How do B-Lymphocytes Function?

Naïve B-cells released from the bone marrow undergo further development while traveling to the spleen and lymph nodes. Once at these secondary lymph organs, the B-lymphocytes are activated through binding the binding of their cell surface antibodies to antigens. The activation may occur with the assistance of T-helper cells (T-cell dependent), during which B-cells present the antigen to the T cell, or may be T-cell independent activation.

In response, the B-cells can differentiate into:

  • Plasma cells that produce specific antibodies against the target antigen
  • Memory-B cells that are stored by the body for a quicker response in case it ever encounters the same antigen in the future.

Applications of B-lymphocyte Function in Immunotherapy

There is an increasing interest in the potential to use B-lymphocytes in cancer immunotherapy because of its following characteristics:

  • Antibody production
  • Antigen presentation
  • Ability to infiltrate tumors
  • Secretion of cytokines and granzyme B

Source: Stoycheva, D., Simsek, H., Weber, W., Hauser, A. E., & Klotzsch, E. (2021, October). External cues to drive B cell function towards immunotherapy. Acta Biomaterialia, 133, 222–230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.02.026