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J Autoimmun. 2014 Sep;53:78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2014.03.004. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

The Mertk receptor tyrosine kinase promotes T-B interaction stimulated by IgD B-cell receptor cross-linking.

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  • 1Section of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Temple University, 3322 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.
  • 2Department of Medicine, Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA; Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA; Division of Immunobiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.
  • 3Section of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Temple University, 3322 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA. Electronic address:


The Mertk receptor tyrosine kinase facilitates macrophage and DC apoptotic-cell clearance and regulates immune tolerance. Mertk may also contribute to B-cell activation, because Mertk-KO mice fail to develop autoantibodies when allo-activated by T cells. We investigated this possibility with a well-characterized model in which injection of mice with goat anti-IgD antibody causes membrane IgD cross-linking that induces T-independent B cell activation and antigen presentation to T cells. Goat anti-mouse IgD antibody-injected C57BL/6 Mertk-KO mice had normal initial B cell activation and proliferation, but significantly lower T cell activation and proliferation, as well as lower IgE and IgG anti-goat IgG responses, as compared to C57BL/6 WT controls. B cell antigen processing, analyzed by evaluating B cell fluorescence following injection of monoclonal anti-IgD antibody labeled with biotin or FITC, was comparable between Mertk-KO mice and WT mice. IgD Ab primed B cells from Mertk-KO mice exhibited significantly lower ability in activating memory T cells isolated from WT mice injected with the same antigen 10 days before. These observations suggest that Mertk expression is required for optimal B-cell antigen presentation, which is, in turn, required in this model for optimal T cell activation and subsequent T cell-dependent B cell differentiation.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Ag presentation; IgD cross-linking; Mertk

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[Available on 2015-09-01]
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