The Biology of IgE: The Generation of High-Affinity IgE Antibodies

  • Maria A. Curotto de LafailleEmail author
  • Juan J. Lafaille


B cells can undergo affinity maturation through the process of somatic hypermutation (SHM) followed by selection for high-affinity variants. Affinity maturation occurs in germinal centers (GC) and requires T–B cell cooperation. Extra GC B-cell responses are associated with the production of low-affinity antibodies. B cells producing high-affinity IgE during T-dependent responses are not directly selected in GC but are produced by the sequential switching of GC-selected high-affinity IgG-producing B cells. In contrast, natural low-affinity IgE can be generated without cognate T–B cell interactions in lymphopenic conditions. Low- and high-affinity IgE may differentially affect mast cell survival and degranulation and thus determine whether mast cells contribute to a beneficial or pathogenic environment.


Germinal Center Affinity Maturation Sequential Switching Variant Peptide Germline Transcription 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The Lafaille laboratory is supported by the NIH/NIAID, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Strategic Program for Asthma Research, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria A. Curotto de Lafaille
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juan J. Lafaille
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Pathogenesis Program, The Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine of the Skirball Institute and Department of PathologyNew York University Scholl of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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