Morphology, Kinetics and Secretory Activity of Antibody-forming Cells

A. A. Geldof*, P. Rijnhart, M. V.D. Ende, N. Kors, H. L. Langevoort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Specific antibody-forming cells from spleen, bone marrow and popliteal lymph nodes were studied in mice after subcutaneous priming and intravenous boosting with horseradish peroxidase (HRP). Functional antibody-secreting capacity of these cells was correlated with their morphology at the cell population level. For this purpose, cells synthesizing anti-HRP antibody from the same cell suspensions were studied simultaneously by light and electron microscopy and by a plaque assay. It appeared that the population of cells responsible for antibody synthesis as well as antibody secretion was morphologically heterogeneous: besides plasma cells, considerable numbers of antibody-forming lymphocytes, antibody-forming plasmablasts and antibody-forming immature plasma cells were observed. Immature plasma cells constituted the majority of antibody-forming as well as antibody-secreting cells. Among the immature plasma cells in the popliteal lymph nodes proliferation occurred. Evidence is presented that the light-microscopically identified mature plasma cell is not the main antibody-forming cell. It does not show 3H-Thymidine incorporation and should be considered as a non-dividing end-cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-307
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1984

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