Immunological Reviews, 18 April, 2020, DOI：https://doi.org/10.1111/imr.12859
The role of B cell antigen presentation in the initiation of CD4+ T cell response
Zhaolin Hua and Baidong Hou
B cells have been known for their ability to present antigens to T cells for almost 40 years. However, the precise roles of B cell antigen presentation in various immune responses are not completely understood. The term “professional” antigen‐presenting cells (APCs) was proposed to distinguish APCs that are required for initiating the immune responses from those use antigen presentation to enhance their own effector functions. Unlike dendritic cells, which are defined as professional APCs for their well‐established functions in activating naive T cells, B cells have been shown in the past to mostly present antigens to activated CD4+ T cells mainly to seek help from T helper cells. However, recent evidence suggested that B cells can act as professional APCs under infectious conditions or conditions mimicking viral infections. B cell antigen receptors (BCRs) and the innate receptor Toll‐like receptors are activated synergistically in response to pathogens or virus‐like particles, under which conditions B cells are not only potent but also the predominant APCs to turn naive CD4+ T cells into T follicular helper cells. The discovery of B cells as professional APCs to initiate CD4+ T cell response provides a new insight for both autoimmune diseases and vaccine development.