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EMBO J. 1991 Feb;10(2):337-42.

Differentiation of growth signal requirement of B lymphocyte precursor is directed by expression of immunoglobulin.

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Institute for Medical Immunology, Kumamoto University Medical School, Japan.


During B cell differentiation, at least three stages can be defined in terms of their growth signal requirement by using two different growth signals, which are recombinant interleukin 7 (IL-7) and a stromal cell clone PA6 which does not produce IL-7; first a PA6 dependent stage, second a PA6 + IL-7 dependent stage and third an IL-7 dependent stage. In order to test the possibility that this differentiation of growth signal requirement is controlled by the expression of functional immunoglobulin molecules, we have investigated the frequencies of PA6 + IL-7 dependent and IL-7 dependent cells which are present in the bone marrow of either mu-chain or kappa-chain gene transgenic mice. In a mu-chain gene transgenic mouse, the frequency of PA6 + IL-7 dependent cells is selectively reduced, while that of IL-7 dependent cells is selectively reduced in a kappa-chain gene transgenic mouse. This result suggests that expression of a functional mu-chain gene drives PA6 + IL-7 dependent cells to differentiate into the subsequent IL-7 dependent stage. Likewise, when mu-chain positive IL-7 dependent cells express a functional light-chain gene, their growth signal requirement changes into an IL-7 unreactive stage.

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