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J Immunol. 2005 Sep 1;175(5):2859-67.

CD21/CD19 coreceptor signaling promotes B cell survival during primary immune responses.

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CBR Institute for Biomedical Research and Department of Pathology, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The adaptive immune response is tightly regulated to limit responding cells in an Ag-specific manner. On B cells, coreceptors CD21/CD19 modulate the strength of BCR signals, potentially influencing cell fate. The importance of the CD95 pathway was examined in response of B cells to moderate affinity Ag using an adoptive transfer model of lysozyme-specific Ig transgenic (HEL immunoglobulin transgene (MD4) strain) B cells. Although adoptively transferred Cr2+/+ MD4 B cells are activated and persist within splenic follicles of duck egg lysozyme-immunized mice, Cr2-/- MD4 B cells do not. In contrast, Cr2-/- MD4 lpr B cells persist after transfer, suggesting that lack of CD21/CD35 signaling results in CD95-mediated elimination. Cr2 deficiency did not affect CD95 levels, but cellular FLIP (c-FLIP) protein and mRNA levels were reduced 2-fold compared with levels in Cr2+/+ MD4 B cells. In vitro culture with Cr2+/+ MD4 B cells demonstrated that equimolar amounts of rHEL-C3d3 were more effective than hen egg lysozyme alone in up-regulating c-FLIP levels and for protection against CD95-mediated apoptosis. Collectively, this study implies a mechanism for regulating B cell survival in vivo whereby the strength of BCR signaling (including coreceptor) determines c-FLIP levels and protection from CD95-induced death.

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