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Immunol Rev. 2000 Jun;175:47-58.

The role of the preBCR, the interleukin-7 receptor, and homotypic interactions during B-cell development.

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1
Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network, Canada. stoddart@oci.utoronto.ca

Abstract

Considerable progress has been made in defining intermediate stages in the process leading from stem cells to mature B cells. Cell-bound and secreted molecules direct the progression through these stages and regulate the selection of clones from which the immune repertoire emerges. In fact, a myriad of signals derived from B-cell progenitors themselves and the microenvironment in which they develop direct the differentiation process. These signals are provided by B-cell antigen receptors (BCR) and their surrogates, and by adhesion and cytokine receptors. The co-operation of these receptors to control survival, expansion, and differentiation of early B-cell progenitors is the topic of this review. Specifically, we will summarize recent findings from our laboratory demonstrating that preBCR expression lowers the threshold for interleukin (IL)-7 responsiveness. How signals initiated by these receptors may intersect at this critical point of B-cell selection will be discussed. At the stage following IL-7 responsiveness we have shown that interactions between B-cell progenitors themselves promote their differentiation to immunoglobulin-secreting B cells. We propose that one function of stromal cells, known to be central to B lymphopoiesis, is to promote critical preB-preB homotypic interactions and ensuing signals.

PMID:
10933590
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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