B Cells cells also known as B lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell.
- They function in the humoral immunity component of the adaptive immune system.
- B cells produce antibody molecules
- Antibody molecular are inserted into the plasma membrane where they serve as a part of B-cell receptors.
- When a naïve or memory B cell is activated by an antigen, it proliferates and differentiates into an antibody-secreting effector cell, known as a plasma cell.
- B cells also present antigens and secrete cytokines.
- In mammals, B cells mature in the bone marrow
- In birds, B cells mature in the bursa of Fabricius, a lymphoid organ where they were first discovered by Chang and Glick
An excellent pictorial illustration enclosed underneath demonstrates B cell development and maturation (courtesy of British Society of Immunology)
B Cells - Development and maturation
Credit - Rebecca Newman / British Society of Immunology
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