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J Immunol. 2000 Dec 15;165(12):6796-802.

Ig light chain receptor editing in anergic B cells.

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Department of Medicine, Center for Immunology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Receptor editing in the bone marrow (BM) serves to modify the Ag receptor specificity of immature self-reactive B cells, while anergy functionally silences self-reactive clones. Here, we demonstrate that anergic B cells in hen egg lysozyme Ig (HEL-Ig)/soluble HEL double transgenic mice show evidence of having undergone receptor editing in vivo, as demonstrated by the presence of elevated levels of endogenous kappa light chain rearrangements in the BM and spleen. In an in vitro IL-7-driven BM culture system, HEL-Ig BM B cells grown in the presence of soluble HEL down-regulated surface IgM expression and also showed induction of new endogenous kappa light chain rearrangements. Using a panel of soluble protein ligands with reduced affinity for the HEL-Ig receptor, the editing response was shown to correlate in a dose-dependent fashion with the strength of signaling through the B cell receptor. The finding that the level of B cell receptor cross-linking sufficient to induce anergy in B cells is also capable of engaging the machinery required for receptor editing suggests an intimate relationship between these two mechanisms in maintaining B cell tolerance.

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