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In this study, we imaged the differentiation and migratory behavior of nascent plasma cells (PCs) in mouse lymph nodes by intravital microscopy. Pre-PCs exhibited a unique migration pattern characterized by long, linear paths that were randomly oriented. Although chemotaxis via Galphai coupled-receptors has been implicated in PC migration, treatment with Pertussis toxin (Ptx), which ablates these signals, did not prevent movement of pre-PCs while it arrested other lymphocytes. In vitro, pre-PCs displayed processive amoeboid locomotion on surfaces coated with integrin ligand, whereas fully differentiated PCs moved slowly or were arrested. Both PC arrest and differentiation occurred in the medullary cords. Ptx treatment before PC differentiation blocked their accumulation in the medullary cords but pre-PCs still differentiated in other lymph node regions. Taken together, we suggest pre-PCs undergo a persistent random walk to find the medullary cords, where localized chemokines help retain these cells until they undergo differentiation and arrest in situ.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





118 - 127


Adoptive Transfer, Animals, Cell Differentiation, Cell Movement, Cells, Cultured, Chemokines, Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial, Lymph Nodes, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Plasma Cells, Positive Regulatory Domain I-Binding Factor 1, Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid, Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled, Transcription Factors