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Annu Rev Immunol. 2001;19:595-621.

B cell development pathways.

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  • 1Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 7701 Burholme Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.


B cell development is a highly regulated process whereby functional peripheral subsets are produced from hematopoietic stem cells, in the fetal liver before birth and in the bone marrow afterward. Here we review progress in understanding some aspects of this process in the mouse bone marrow, focusing on delineation of the earliest stages of commitment, on pre-B cell receptor selection, and B cell tolerance during the immature-to-mature B cell transition. Then we note some of the distinctions in hematopoiesis and pre-B selection between fetal liver and adult bone marrow, drawing a connection from fetal development to B-1/CD5(+) B cells. Finally, focusing on CD5(+) cells, we consider the forces that influence the generation and maintenance of this distinctive peripheral B cell population, enriched for natural autoreactive specificities that are encoded by particular germline V(H)-V(L) combinations.

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