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J Immunol. 2006 Nov 1;177(9):6025-9.

Enhanced IgA class switching in marginal zone and B1 B cells relative to follicular/B2 B cells.

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Immunology and Virology Program, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.


Mouse splenic marginal zone (MZ) B cells and B1 B cells enriched in the peritoneal cavity respond preferentially to T cell-independent Ags compared with follicular (FO)/B2 B cells. Despite the differential responses of B cell subsets to various stimuli, and despite the need for multiple stimuli to induce IgA class switching, the relative contribution of B cell subpopulations to IgA production is unknown. By culturing purified B cell populations, we find that MZ and peritoneal B1 cells switch more readily to IgA than do splenic FO or peritoneal B2 cells in BLyS/LPS/TGF-beta. Addition of IL-4, IL-5, and anti-IgD dextran to the cultures enhances IgA switching in FO/B2 and MZ B cells to a similar frequency, but this treatment suppresses IgA class switching in B1 cells. Thus, IgA switching differs among purified B cell subsets, suggesting that individual B cell populations could contribute differentially to IgA expression in vivo, depending on available stimuli.

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