B cells are lymphocytes that play a large role in the humoral immune response (as opposed to the cell-mediated immune response, which is governed by T cells). The principal functions of B cells are to make antibodies against antigens, perform the role of Antigen Presenting Cells (APCs) and eventually develop into memory B cells after activation by antigen interaction. B cells are an essential component of the adaptive immune system.
The abbreviation "B", in B cell, comes from the bursa of Fabricius in birds, where they mature. In mammals, immature B cells are formed in the bone marrow.
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