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Immunol Rev. 2000 Aug;176:216-46.

B-lymphocyte quiescence, tolerance and activation as viewed by global gene expression profiling on microarrays.

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Eos Biotechnology, South San Francisco, California, USA.


Self-tolerance is achieved by deleting or regulating self-reactive lymphocytes at a series of cellular checkpoints placed at many points along the developmental pathways to plasma cells and effector T cells. At each checkpoint, what are the molecular pathways that determine whether a lymphocyte remains quiescent, begins dividing, differentiates or dies? In splenic B cells, the decision between quiescence, tolerance by anergy, and activation provides a tractable setting to explore these issues by global gene expression profiling on DNA microarrays. Here we discuss the application of microarrays to illuminate a set of cell fate decisions that appear to be determined by summation of numerous small changes in expression of stimulatory and inhibitory genes. Many genes with known or predicted inhibitory functions are highly expressed in naive, quiescent B cells, notably the signal inhibitor SLAP and DNA-binding proteins of the Kruppel family (LKLF, BKLF, GKLF), Tsc-22, GILZ, Id-3, and GADD45. Activation of naive B cells, triggered by acute binding of antigen to the B-cell receptor, involves a rapid decrease in expression of these inhibitory genes. Promitotic genes are induced in parallel, including c myc, LSIRF/IRF4, cyclin D2, Egr-1 and Egr-2, as are the anti-apoptotic gene A1 and genes for the T-cell-attracting chemokines MIP-1alpha and beta. B-cell tolerance through the process of anergy, induced by chronic binding of self antigen, maintains expression of the inhibitory genes found in quiescent B cells and induces an additional set of inhibitory genes. The latter include inhibitors of signaling - CD72, neurogranin, pcp4 - and additional inhibitors of gene expression such as SATB1, MEF2C, TGIF and Nab-2. The effects of tolerance, the immunosuppressive drug FK506 and other modulators of calcium or MAPK signaling allow individual gene responses to be linked to different signal transduction pathways. The global molecular profiles obtained illustrate how quiescence and anergy are actively maintained in circulating B cells, how these states are switched to clonal expansion and how they could be better emulated by pro-tolerogenic drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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