Plasma Cell Ontogeny Defined by Quantitative Changes in Blimp-1 Expression Academic Article uri icon


  • Plasma cells comprise a population of terminally differentiated B cells that are dependent on the transcriptional regulator B lymphocyte–induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp-1) for their development. We have introduced a gfp reporter into the Blimp-1 locus and shown that heterozygous mice express the green fluorescent protein in all antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) in vivo and in vitro. In vitro, these cells display considerable heterogeneity in surface phenotype, immunoglobulin secretion rate, and Blimp-1 expression levels. Importantly, analysis of in vivo ASCs induced by immunization reveals a developmental pathway in which increasing levels of Blimp-1 expression define developmental stages of plasma cell differentiation that have many phenotypic and molecular correlates. Thus, maturation from transient plasmablast to long-lived ASCs in bone marrow is predicated on quantitative increases in Blimp-1 expression.


  • Kallies, Axel
  • Hasbold, Jhagvaral
  • Tarlinton, David M
  • Dietrich, Wendy
  • Corcoran, Lynn M
  • Hodgkin, Philip D
  • Nutt, Stephen L

publication date

  • October 18, 2004