B lymphocytes along with T lymphocytes form the adaptive immune system. They are a heterogeneous population of cells with unique functional properties. Their primary function is to produce antibodies, however they can also be professional antigen presenting cells to T lymphocytes helping to generate an effective immune response.
Abnormal B cell development or function can result in several autoimmune diseases and malignancies, and their identification can be critical for disease treatment and detection of residual disease.
B cell subsets can be difficult to identify due to variability and low level expression of markers and the rarity of some populations. This guide to immunophenotyping of human B cells takes you through some of the common markers and gating strategies used to identify B cells by flow cytometry, with examples of data acquired on the ZE5™ Cell Analyzer.