Scientists finally have proof of a mysterious immune cell in humans

While working to map each cell of the human body, scientists have discovered an elusive type of immune cell that first emerges in the womb. The existence of such cells in humans has been hotly debated – until now.

These mysterious cells, known as B-1 cells, were first discovered in mice in the 1980s, according to a 2018 review in The Journal of Immunology. These cells appear early in mouse development, in the uterus, and they produce various antibody when activated. Some of these antibodies attach to the mouse’s own cells and help clear dying and dead cells from the body. Activated B-1 cells also make antibodies that act as a first line of defense against pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria.

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