Human plasma cells express granzyme B

Wei Xu, Priya Narayanan, Ning Kang, Sandra Clayton, Yoichiro Ohne, Peiqing Shi, Marie Cecile Herve, Robert Balderas, Capucine Picard, Jean Laurent Casanova, Jean Pierre Gorvel, Sangkon Oh, Virginia Pascual, Jacques Banchereau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


While studying the plasma cell (PC) compartment in human tonsils, we identified that immunoglobulin kappa or lambda chain-expressing PCs are the main cells expressing granzyme B (GrzB). In vitro studies revealed that activated B cells differentiated into GrzB-expressing PCs when co-cultured with macrophages and follicular helper T cells. This effect could be reproduced on combined stimulation of IL-15 (produced by macrophages) and IL-21 (produced by T follicular helper cells) in a STAT3-dependent manner. Whereas IL-21 triggers the transcription of mRNA of GrzB, IL-15 synergizes the translation of GrzB proteins. The precise role of GrzB in PC biology remains to be understood and studies in mice will not help as their PCs do not express GrzB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • B cells
  • Granzyme B (GrzB)
  • Plasma cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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