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Immunity. 2001 Aug;15(2):323-34.

The earliest stages of B cell development require a chemokine stromal cell-derived factor/pre-B cell growth-stimulating factor.

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Department of Immunology, Research Institute, Osaka Medical Center for Maternal and Child Health, 840, Murodo-cho, Izumi, 594-1101, Osaka, Japan.


Environmental factors essential for the first stages of B lymphopoiesis remain elusive. Here, we report that immediately after commitment to B lineage, precursors become dependent on a chemokine SDF-1 and its receptor CXCR4 using mutant and radiation chimeric mice. In bone marrow, generation of the earliest identifiable B cell precursor populations requires CXCR4. In fetal liver, we identified Lin(-)CD19(-)c-kit(+)IL-7Ralpha(+)AA4.1(+), the earliest unipotent B cell precursor population, and found that its development was severely affected in SDF-1(-/-) embryos but not in IL-7(-/-) embryos. Lin(-) T cell progenitors appeared normal in SDF-1(-/-) embryos. Moreover, SDF-1 exhibited specific biologic activities on the earliest B cell precursors. SDF-1 provides the first example of a cytokine responsible for the earliest B lineage stages.

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