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B-cell Maturation in Lymph Node Diagram

Steps involved in completing B-cell maturation within the germinal center of secondary follicles:

Step 1. Antigen stimulation changes the primary follicle to a secondary follicle with a germinal center.
Step 2. B cells proliferate as centroblasts and somatic hypermutation occurs.
Step 3. Centroblasts give rise to centrocytes and interact with follicular dendritic cells.
Step 4. If a B cell has mutated to have an antibody with more affinity to an antigen, it survives. Otherwise, it undergoes apoptosis.
Step 5. Interaction with helper T cells happens here. Class switching occurs and the B cells become either a plasma cells or memory B cells.

Content Editors/Website Administrators:
Hooman H. Rashidi, MD; John C. Nguyen, MD