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Int Immunol. 2008 Jun;20(6):763-73. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxn034. Epub 2008 Apr 1.

Delta-like 1 is essential for the maintenance of marginal zone B cells in normal mice but not in autoimmune mice.

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Department of Immunology, Biomedical Research Center, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan.


Notch2 and Delta-like 1 (Dll1) have been implicated in the development of marginal zone B (MZB) cells. In the present study, we characterized the expression and function of mouse Notch receptors and ligands in the spleen by using newly generated mAbs. Although Notch2 was expressed on both B and T cells in the spleen, the highest expression was observed on precursors of marginal zone B and MZB cells. Dll1 was expressed on macrophage and erythroblasts in the red pulp, but not on B cells or marginal zone macrophage. Administration of a blocking mAb against Dll1 not only blocked the development of MZB cells in juvenile mice but also gradually depleted the pre-established MZB cells in adult mice, indicating a critical role for Dll1 in the maintenance of MZB cells in the spleen of normal mice. Interestingly, Dll1 was not necessary for the maintenance of MZB cells in lupus-prone (NZB x NZW) F1 mice particularly after the onset of the disease, suggesting that the Dll1 independence may be a feature of dysregulated MZB cells producing auto-antibodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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