B cells are responsible for producing and releasing antibodies to specific antigens, and hence, are an essential component of the humoral immune response.

B cells are mediators of the humoral response, or antibody-mediated immunity. By studying this particular cell group we learn more about the inner workings of the immune system, which consequently increases our awareness of the possible causes behind a variety of autoimmune disorders and cancers. Broad immunological research unlocks valuable insight of what future steps might be taken to treat these pathologies.

Development from stem cell to B cell

Generation of the B cell begins in the bone marrow where stem cells give rise to lymphoid cells. Throughout each stage of development the antibody locus— a site where an antigen interacts with the cell— undergoes genetic recombination. This recombination is specific to the developmental stage of the B cell. Development starts with the pro-B cell, which expresses Igα and Igβ. The cell matures further into the pre-B cell that expresses the pre-B cell receptor (Igμ) on its surface. Maturation in the bone marrow ends with the naïve B cell that expresses the B cell receptor (containing IgM and IgD) capable of recognizing an antigen. These cells then leave the bone marrow and enter the periphery (Cambier JC, et al. Nat Rev Immunol. 2007).

Subtypes of conventional B cells

Conventional B cells, also referred to as B-2 cells, terminally differentiate into one of two common subtypes upon activation:

  • Plasma B cells: a plasma cell is the sentry of the immune system. The naïve B cell circulates throughout the body. When it encounters a unique antigen, the plasma cell takes in the antigen through receptor-mediated endocytosis. Antigenic particles are transferred to the cell surface, loaded onto MHC II molecules and presented to a helper T cell. The binding of the helper T cell to the MHC II-antigen complex activates the B cell. The activated B cell goes through a period of rapid proliferation and somatic hypermutation. Selection occurs for those cells that produce antibodies with a high affinity for that particular antigen. Once terminally differentiated, the plasma B cell only secretes antibodies specific for that antigen and can no longer generate antibodies to other antigens.
  • Memory B cells: memory cells are held in reserve, in the germinal centers of the lymphatic system, for when the immune system re-encounters a specific antigen. During any repeat exposure the follicular helper T cell causes the memory cell to differentiate into a plasma B cell that has a greater sensitivity to that specific antigen. This jump-starts the immune system to mount a quicker, more powerful response than was possible previously.

Other B cell subtypes include:

  • B-1 cells: a minor subtype, only about 5% in humans, of self-renewing fetal B cells that act in a similar fashion to plasma cells. B-1 cells are primarily present during fetal and neonatal life.
  • Marginal zone (MZ) B cells: mature memory B cells that are found only in the marginal zone of the spleen. These cells can be activated through toll-like receptor-ligation and not necessarily through the B cell receptor.
  • Follicular (FO) B cells: these are mature, but inactive, B cells. This subset of B cells is primarily found in the follicles of the spleen and lymph nodes. Activation of these cells requires the aid of T cells. FO B cells can differentiate into either plasma or memory B cells.
  • Regulatory B (Breg) cells: Breg cells negatively regulate the strength of the immune response and inflammation by secreting chemical messages called cytokines, such as IL-10. Although these cells make up a small portion of the B cell population (~0.5% in humans), it is thought that loss of functional Breg cells contributes to autoimmune disorders.
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P191410
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GRM10702-2KG
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GRM10702-500G
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GRM10702W-2KG
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GRM10702W-500G

Immunophenotyping of B cells through flow cytometry

Immature B cells express CD19, CD 20, CD34, CD38, and CD45R, but not IgM. For most mature B cells the key markers include IgM and CD19, a protein receptor for antigens (Kaminski DA. Front Immunol. 2012). Activated B cells express CD30, a regulator of apoptosis. Plasma B cells lose CD19 expression, but gain CD78, which is used to quantify these cells. Memory B cells can be immunophenotyped using CD20 and CD40 expression. The cells can be further categorized using CD80 and PDL-2 regardless of the type of immunoglobulin present on the cell surface (Zuccarino-Catania GV et al. Nat Immunol. 2014.). Globally, cytokines (such as interlukein-10) and chemokines involved with chemokine receptor 3 play an important role in transmitting the biological messages to drive the immune response.

 

B-Cell Marker BLCAM
B-Cell Marker BLCAM

A table of common B cell subtypes with some cell markers which can be useful for flow cytometry:

B Cell Type Marker Cellular localization
B cell (all except plasma cell) IgM, CD19 Secreted
Activated B cell CD19, CD25, CD30 Secreted
Plasma cell IgG, CD27, CD38, CD78, CD138, CD319 Secreted
Plasma cell IL-6 Secreted (cytokine)
Plasma cell CD138 Cell membrane
Memory cell IgA, IgG, IgE, CD20, CD27, CD40, CD80, PDL-2 Secreted
Memory cell CXCR3, CXCR4, CXCR5, CXCR6 Secreted (chemokines)
Marginal zone B cells CD1, CD21, CD27 Secreted
Marginal zone B cells Notch2 Cell membrane
Follicular B cells IgD, CD21, CD22, CD23 Secreted
Regulatory B cells IgD, CD1, CD5, CD21, CD24, TLR4 Secreted
Regulatory B cells IL-10, TGFβ Secreted (cytokines)

 

The immune system consists of many different cell types, whose functions and interactions govern the immune response. In research, the specific composition of cell surface antigens is exploited to accurately define the different cell types. Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry is the most common method to identify, quantify, and isolate immune cells within mixed populations. However, selecting which antigens are best to identify a specific cell type can be challenging due to the vast number of research articles and lack of consensus around immunophenotyping panels.

In response to this issue, we have reviewed over 250 research articles studying human and mouse cells and compiled the most commonly used markers for each immune cell type. With this selection, you can quickly and easily build your own immunophenotyping panel, freeing up more of your time for research.

Immune cell markers

Many immune cell markers are named following the clusters of differentiation (CD) nomenclature, aimed at providing targets for cell immunophenotyping. In the table below we have summarized the relevant CD markers for the identification and quantification of both human and mouse immune cells.

For each CD marker, we strive to provide antibodies tested in several applications to guarantee sensitivity and specificity. Please see example data below for WB, ICC, IHC, and flow cytometry with our recombinant anti-integrin alpha 5 antibody (ab150361). Find out more about recombinant antibodies.

ELISA PLATE READER : MICRO READ 1000

1000 Global Diagnostics B 1 unit 2628 EUR

ELISA PLATE WASHER : MICRO WASH 1100

1100 Global Diagnostics B 1 unit 2403.6 EUR

ELISA PLATE SHAKER : MICRO SHAKE 1200

1200 Global Diagnostics B 1 unit 916.8 EUR

Dendritic Cells/B Cells Antibody

abx412775-02mg Abbexa 0.2 mg 678 EUR

B Cells, 28kD

MBS633635-1mL MyBiosource 1mL 790 EUR

B Cells, 28kD

MBS633635-5x1mL MyBiosource 5x1mL 3395 EUR

B Cells, pan (AP)

MBS6247394-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (AP)

MBS6247394-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

B Cells, pan (HRP)

MBS6250334-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (HRP)

MBS6250334-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

B Cells, pan (APC)

MBS6268252-01mL MyBiosource 0.1mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (APC)

MBS6268252-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

Human CD19+ B Cells

T4123 ABM 5x10^5 cells / 1.0 ml Ask for price

B Cells, pan (Biotin)

MBS6248427-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (Biotin)

MBS6248427-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

CD40 B Cells Antibody

GWB-375761 GenWay Biotech 0.2 mg Ask for price

B Cells Antibody (FITC)

GWB-A84CAA GenWay Biotech 100 TESTS Ask for price

Immortalized Human B Cells

CSC-I9357Z Creative Bioarray One Frozen vial Ask for price

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (AP)

MBS6122273-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (AP)

MBS6122273-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (PE)

MBS6122278-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (PE)

MBS6122278-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (APC)

MBS6122274-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (APC)

MBS6122274-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (HRP)

MBS6122277-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (HRP)

MBS6122277-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (AP)

MBS6122303-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (AP)

MBS6122303-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (PE)

MBS6122308-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (PE)

MBS6122308-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 550)

MBS6254379-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 550)

MBS6254379-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 650)

MBS6255419-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 650)

MBS6255419-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 405)

MBS6252299-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 405)

MBS6252299-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 490)

MBS6253339-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 490)

MBS6253339-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 750)

MBS6256459-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 875 EUR

B Cells, pan (MaxLight 750)

MBS6256459-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 3790 EUR

Rat Pan B Cells antibody

10R-B124a Fitzgerald 50 ug Ask for price

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (FITC)

MBS6122276-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (FITC)

MBS6122276-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (APC)

MBS6122304-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (APC)

MBS6122304-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (HRP)

MBS6122307-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (HRP)

MBS6122307-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Rat Pan B Cells antibody

MBS531196-005mg MyBiosource 0.05mg 1690 EUR

Rat Pan B Cells antibody

MBS531196-5x005mg MyBiosource 5x0.05mg 7450 EUR

CD19 Antibody (Pan B Cells)

GWB-6E699A GenWay Biotech 0.2 mg Ask for price

Lambda Chain (B cells) (FITC)

MBS6122306-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (FITC)

MBS6122306-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (Biotin)

MBS6122275-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (Biotin)

MBS6122275-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (Biotin)

MBS6122305-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Lambda Chain (B cells) (Biotin)

MBS6122305-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Rat Splenocytes CD45+ B Cells

ABC-TC4225 AcceGen 1 vial Ask for price

StimPack: Memory B cells, human

3660-1 Mabtech AB 100 µg + 1 µg 194.25 EUR

StimPack: Memory B cells, mouse

3661-1 Mabtech AB 100 µg + 0.5 µg 194.25 EUR

HARA-B Cells Complete Medium

CM-0724 Elabscience Biotech 125ml×4 98 EUR

Mouse Splenocytes CD19+ B Cells

ABC-TC3938 AcceGen 1 vial Ask for price

CD79a, B Cells Antibody, Concentrate

MAB895C Innovex 0.2ml 485 EUR

Human B Cells-Negatively Selected

ABC-TC3509 AcceGen 1 vial Ask for price

Human Cord Blood CD19+ B Cells

ABC-TC3368 AcceGen 1 vial Ask for price

Human Cord Blood CD19+ B Cells

CBCD19-C2.5M 101Bio 2.5 million 906 EUR

Human Cord Blood CD19+ B Cells

CBCD19-C5M 101Bio 5 million 1078.8 EUR

Human Cord Blood CD19+ B Cells

CBCD19-F5M 101Bio 5 million 1198.8 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 490)

MBS6204317-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 490)

MBS6204317-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 405)

MBS6193642-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 405)

MBS6193642-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 750)

MBS6236342-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 750)

MBS6236342-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 650)

MBS6225667-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 650)

MBS6225667-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 550)

MBS6214992-01mL MyBiosource 0.1(mL 935 EUR

Kappa Chain (B Cells) (MaxLight 550)

MBS6214992-5x01mL MyBiosource 5x0.1mL 4050 EUR
MULTIPLEX KIT PCR MASTITIS PCR kit
PCR-MPX218-48D
MULTIPLEX KIT PCR MASTITIS PCR kit
PCR-MPX218-96D
PCR Mix
L5051100

 

 

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