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B Cells from Mice Prematurely Expressing Human Complement Receptor Type 2 are Unresponsive to T-Dependent Antigens

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kevin MarchbankORCiD


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Complement receptor type 2 (CR2/CD21), in association with CD19, plays an important role in enhancing mature B cell responses to opsonized Ags. We have shown that mice expressing a human CR2/CD21 (hCR2/CD21) transgene during the CD43(+)/CD25(-) late pro-B cell stage of B cell development demonstrate marked changes in subsequent B cell ontogeny. In the present study, we show that the humoral immune response to the T cell-dependent Ag, sheep RBC, is muted severely in a manner inversely proportional to B cell expression level of hCR2. Individual Ag-specific IgG isotypes vary in the degree to which they are affected but all are reduced while IgM titers are normal. A substantial reduction in germinal centers, both in size and frequency, in the spleens of immunized hCR2 transgenic mice demonstrates a failure to maintain germinal center reaction. However, both IgM expression levels and LPS-proliferative responses appear fully intact in B cells from hCR2-positive mice, suggesting that this alteration in B cell phenotype is different qualitatively from that of specific Ag-defined anergy models. These data suggest that the unresponsiveness to T-dependent Ags displayed by hCR2-positive B cells is linked to an increase in the level of stimulus required to propel the B cell into a fully activated state and thus a normal humoral immune response to Ags. We conclude that this phenotype and these mice may offer an additional means to dissect mechanisms underlying B cell tolerance and Ag responsiveness both in bone marrow and periphery.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Birrell L, Kulik L, Morgan BP, Holers VM, Marchbank KJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Immunology

Year: 2005

Volume: 174

Issue: 11

Pages: 6974-6982

ISSN (print): 0022-1767

ISSN (electronic): 1550-6606

Publisher: American Association of Immunologists