Allergen-specific IgE antibodies mediate allergic pathology in diseases such as allergic rhinitis and food allergy. Memory B cells (MBCs) contribute to circulating IgE by regenerating IgE-producing plasma cells upon allergen encounter. We report a population of type 2 polarized MBCs defined as CD23hi, IL-4Rαhi, CD32low at the transcriptional and surface protein levels. These “MBC2s” are enriched in IgG1 and IgG4-expressing cells, while constitutively expressing germline transcripts for IgE. Allergen-specific B cells from patients with allergic rhinitis and food allergy were enriched in MBC2s. MBC2s generated allergen specific-IgE during sublingual immunotherapy, thereby identifying these cells as the primary reservoir of IgE. The identification of MBC2s provides insights into the maintenance of IgE memory, which is detrimental in allergic diseases, but which could be beneficial in protection against venoms and helminths.
One-Sentence Summary Identification of a novel memory B cell subset which holds allergen specific IgE memory.