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J Immunol. 2012 Feb 1;188(3):1036-48. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102500. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Regulatory B10 cells differentiate into antibody-secreting cells after transient IL-10 production in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Regulatory B cells that are functionally defined by their capacity to express IL-10 (B10 cells) downregulate inflammation and autoimmunity. In studies using well-defined IL-10 reporter mice, this rare B10 cell subset was also found to maintain a capacity for plasma cell differentiation. During a transient period of il10 transcription, the blimp1 and irf4 transcription factors were induced in B10 cells, whereas pax5 and bcl6 were downregulated as a significant fraction of B10 cells completed the genetic and phenotypic program leading to Ab-secreting cell differentiation in vitro and in vivo. B10 cell-derived IgM reacted with both self- and foreign Ags, whereas B10 cells generated Ag-specific IgG in response to immunizations. Moreover, B10 cells represented a significant source of serum IgM and IgG during adoptive-transfer experiments and produced Ag-specific, polyreactive and autoreactive Ab specificities that were consistent with their expression of a diverse AgR repertoire. Thereby, B10 cells limit inflammation and immune responses by the transient production of IL-10, and may facilitate clearance of their eliciting Ags through an inherent capacity to quickly generate polyreactive and/or Ag-specific Abs during humoral immune responses.

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