The key difference between plasma cells and memory cells is that plasma cells are the final stage of B cell proliferation that produce antibodies while memory B cells are the dormant stage of B cell proliferation that remember antigens and react immediately upon exposure to that antigen next time.
There are several types of white blood cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. There are two main types of lymphocytes: B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. Natural killer cells are also a type of lymphocytes. B lymphocytes originate and mature in the bone marrows. When an antigen is detected, B lymphocytes increase in great numbers and start differentiation. Some B lymphocytes remain as memory B cells while many B lymphocytes differentiate into antibody-producing plasma cells. The main focus of this article is to discuss the difference between memory cells and plasma cells.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Plasma Cells
3. What are Memory Cells
4. Similarities Between Plasma Cells and Memory Cells
5. Side by Side Comparison – Plasma Cells vs Memory Cells in Tabular Form
What are Plasma Cells?
Plasma cells are completely proliferated (activated) B cells. These cells produce larger quantities of antibodies against specific pathogens. B cells differentiate into plasma cells as a result of B cell activation upon exposure to a particular antigen. The process of plasma cell production is the final stage of B cell proliferation.
Plasma cells are able to produce higher quantities of antibodies and release them into blood and lymph when there is an infection. Then the produced antibodies bind with the target antigens. Once bound, these antibodies initiate the neutralization or destruction of foreign pathogenic antigens. The production of antibodies by plasma cells takes place until the antigen is completely destroyed and removed from our system.
What are Memory Cells?
Memory cells are a form of B cells differentiated from naïve B cells. These cells are responsible for the immunological memory. Thus, their main task is to remember antigens, activate again and create immune defence quickly when they meet that antigen for the second time. Therefore, memory cells work in our body while creating secondary immune responses. Memory B cells are abundantly present in the human spleen.
Memory cells have long lives. Moreover, they are sensitive to low amounts of antigen. Not only that, their immune response is very rapid. Morphologically, memory cells resemble naïve B cells. But, memory cells carry surface markers, unlike naïve B cells. Furthermore, memory cells live a long life than naïve B cells.
What are the Similarities Between Plasma Cells and Memory Cells?
- Plasma cells and memory cells are two types of immune cells.
- They originate from naïve B cells.
- They are white blood cells.
- Both create immune responses against foreign antigens.
What is the Difference Between Plasma Cells and Memory Cells?
Plasma cells and memory cells are two types of differentiated B lymphocytes. Plasma cells produce large amounts of antibodies, while memory cells remember antigens and create secondary immune responses. So, this is the key difference between plasma cells and memory cells. Furthermore, plasma cells have comparatively short lives, while memory cells have long lives.
Moreover, another difference between plasma cells and memory cells is that the memory cells carry surface markers, while the plasma cells do not.
Summary – Plasma Cells vs Memory Cells
Plasma cells are completely proliferated B lymphocytes that are responsible for antibody production in large amounts while memory cells are the differentiated B cells that are responsible for maintaining immunological memory and creating rapid immunological responses when exposed to the same antigen later. So, this is the key difference between plasma cells and memory cells. Plasma cells have comparatively short lives, while memory cells have long lives.
1. “Original antigenic sin” By Original_antigenic_sin.png: User:DO11.10derivative work: Rehua (talk) – This file was derived from: Original antigenic sin.png (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Plasmacytoma ultramini1” By Nephron – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia