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J Immunol. 2001 Apr 15;166(8):5292-9.

Anti-Sm B cell differentiation in Ig transgenic MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr mice: altered differentiation and an accelerated response.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


To determine the regulation of B cells specific for the ribonucleoprotein Sm, a target of the immune system in human and mouse lupus, we have generated mice carrying an anti-Sm H chain transgene (2-12H). Anti-Sm B cells in nonautoimmune 2-12H-transgenic (Tg) mice are functional, but, in the absence of immunization, circulating anti-Sm Ab levels are not different from those of non-Tg mice. In this report, we compare the regulation of anti-Sm B cells in nonautoimmune and autoimmune MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) and bcl-2-22-Tg mice. Activation markers are elevated on splenic and peritoneal anti-Sm B cells of both nonautoimmune and autoimmune genetic backgrounds indicating Ag encounter. Although tolerance to Sm is maintained in 2-12H/bcl-2-22-Tg mice, it is lost in 2-12H-Tg MRL/lpr mice, as the transgene accelerates and increases the prevalence of the anti-Sm response. The 2-12H-Tg MRL/lpr mice have transitional anti-Sm B cells in the spleen similar to nonautoimmune mice. However, in contrast to nonautoimmune mice, there are few if any peritoneal anti-Sm B-1 cells. These data suggest that a defect in B-1 differentiation may be a factor in the loss of tolerance to Sm and provide insight into the low prevalence of the anti-Sm response in lupus.

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