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Microbe-dependent CD11b+ IgA+ plasma cells mediate robust early-phase intestinal IgA responses in mice

Kunisawa, J;Gohda, M;Hashimoto, E;Ishikawa, I;Higuchi, M;Suzuki, Y;Goto, Y;Panea, C;Ivanov, II;Sumiya, R;Aayam, L;Wake, T;Tajiri, S;Kurashima, Y;Shikata, S;Akira, S;Takeda, K;Kiyono, H;

Intestinal plasma cells predominantly produce immunoglobulin (Ig) A, however, their functional diversity remains poorly characterized. Here we show that murine intestinal IgA plasma cells can be newly classified into two populations on the basis of CD11b expression, which cannot be discriminated by currently known criteria such as general plasma cell markers, B cell origin and T cell dependence. CD11b(+) IgA(+) plasma cells require the lymphoid structure of Peyer’s patches, produce more IgA than CD11b(-) IgA(+) plasma cells, proliferate vigorously, and require microbial stimulation and IL-10 for their development and maintenance. These features allow CD11b(+) IgA(+) plasma cells to mediate early-phase antigen-specific intestinal IgA responses induced by oral immunization with protein antigen. These findings reveal the functional diversity of IgA(+) plasma cells in the murine intestine.