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Nat Immunol. 2002 May;3(5):443-50. Epub 2002 Apr 22.

Notch-RBP-J signaling is involved in cell fate determination of marginal zone B cells.

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Department of Medical Chemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan.


RBP-J is a key mediator of Notch signaling that regulates cell fate determination in various lineages. To investigate the function of Notch-RBP-J in mature B cell differentiation, we generated mice that selectively lacked B cell RBP-J expression using conditional mutagenesis. Absence of RBP-J led to the loss of marginal zone B (MZB) cells with a concomitant increase in follicular B cells; in contrast, B1 cells in the peritoneal cavity were unaffected. Lack of RBP-J caused no defects in B cells maintenance, survival, plasma cell differentiation or activation. It is therefore likely that Notch-RBP-J signaling regulates the lineage commitment of mature B cells into follicular versus MZB cells. In addition, in mice with RBP-J-deficient B cells, had no obvious changes in immunoglobulin production in response to Ficoll, lipopolysaccharide or chicken gammaglobulin. In contrast, these mice exhibited increased mortality rates after blood-borne bacterial infection, which indicates that MZB cells play pivotal roles in the clearance of these bacteria.

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