In-depth phenotyping of human intestinal antibody secreting cells (ASCs) and their precursors is important for developing improved mucosal vaccines. We used single-cell mass cytometry to simultaneously analyze 34 differentiation and trafficking markers on intestinal and circulating B cells. In addition, we labeled rotavirus (RV) double-layered particles with a metal isotope and characterized B cells specific to the RV VP6 major structural protein. We describe the heterogeneity of the intestinal B-cell compartment, dominated by ASCs with some phenotypic and transcriptional characteristics of long-lived plasma cells. Using principal component analysis, we visualized the phenotypic relationships between major B-cell subsets in the intestine and blood, and revealed that IgM(+) memory B cells (MBCs) and naive B cells were phenotypically related as were CD27(-) MBCs and switched MBCs. ASCs in the intestine and blood were highly clonally related, but associated with distinct trajectories of phenotypic development. VP6-specific B cells were present among diverse B-cell subsets in immune donors, including naive B cells, with phenotypes representative of the overall B-cell pool. These data provide a high dimensional view of intestinal B cells and the determinants regulating humoral memory to a ubiquitous, mucosal pathogen at steady-state.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 22 April 2015; doi:10.1038/mi.2015.36.
View details for DOI 10.1038/mi.2015.36
View details for Web of Science ID 000367653800006