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Immunol Lett. 2008 Nov 16;121(1):33-7. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Sep 9.

Expression of Delta-like 1 in the splenic non-hematopoietic cells is essential for marginal zone B cell development.

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Division of Hematopoiesis, Research Center for Regenerative Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan.


The Notch ligand Delta-like 1 (Dll1) is critical for the generation of marginal zone (MZ) B cells in the spleen. However, the precise mechanism underlying the differentiation of MZB cells is unclear. To determine whether hematopoietic cells or non-hematopoietic cells provides the Dll1-mediated signals to primitive hematopoietic cells, we transplanted lineage(-)c-kit(+)Sca-1(+) (KSL) bone marrow cells derived from wild-type (Dll1(+/+)) GFP-transgenic mice into lethally irradiated Dll1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice. After transplantation, we examined the kinetics of hematopoietic reconstitution and found that although the frequency of stem/progenitor subsets and of more mature lymphoid, myeloid, and erythroid lineages were normal, the donor-derived hematopoietic cells failed to differentiate into MZB cells. We further demonstrated that while the splenic stromal cells of wild-type mice expressed Dll1 molecule, the splenic stromal cells of recipient Dll1 cKO mice deleted the expression of Dll1. These results suggesting that the expression of Dll1 in splenic non-hematopoietic stromal cells, but not hematopoietic cells, is essential for the development of MZB cells.

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