Plasma cell survival is mediated by synergistic effects of cytokines and adhesion-dependent signals

Giuliana Cassese, Sergio Arce, Anja E. Hauser, Katja Lehnert, Beate Moewes, Miro Mostarac, Gwendolin Muehlinghaus, Martin Szyska, Andreas Radbruch, Rudolf A. Manz*

*Corresponding author for this work
332 Citations (Scopus)


Recent results suggest that plasma cell longevity is not an intrinsic capacity, but depends on yet unknown factors produced in their environment. In this study, we show that the cytokines IL-5, IL-6, TNF-α, and stromal cell-derived factor-1α as well as signaling via CD44 support the survival of isolated bone marrow plasma cells. The cytokines IL-7 and stem cell factor, crucially important for early B cell development, do not mediate plasma cell survival, indicating that plasma cells and early B cells have different survival requirements. As shown in IL-6-deficient mice, IL-6 is required for a normal induction, but not for the maintenance of plasma cell responses in vivo, indicating that the effects of individual survival factors are redundant. Optimal survival of isolated plasma cells requires stimulation by a combination of factors acting synergistically. These results strongly support the concept that plasma cell survival depends on niches in which a combination of specific signals, including IL-5, IL-6, stromal cell-derived factor-1α, TNF-α, and ligands for CD44, provides an environment required to mediate plasma cell longevity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1684-1690
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 15.08.2003

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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