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J Immunol Methods. 2010 Mar 31;354(1-2):53-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2010.01.007. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

Stromal cell independent B cell development in vitro: generation and recovery of autoreactive clones.

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Department of Immunology, DUMC 3010, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


We describe and characterize a stromal cell independent culture system that efficiently supports pro-B cell to IgM+ B cell development with near normal levels of IgH and Igkappa diversity. Pro-B cells present in non-adherent bone marrow cells proliferate in the presence of IL-7 and subsequent to the removal of IL-7 and addition of BAFF, differentiate normally into IgM+ B cells. B cell development in vitro closely follows the patterns of development in vivo with culture-derived (CD) B cells demonstrating characteristic patterns of surface antigen expression and gene activation. IgM+ CD B cells respond to TLR stimulation by proliferation and differentiation into antibody-secreting cells. Self-reactive IgM+ B cell development is blocked in 3H9 IgH knockin mice; however, cultures of 3H9 IgH knockin pro-B cells yields high frequencies of "forbidden", autoreactive IgM+ B cells. Furthermore, serum IgG autoantibody exceeded that present in autoimmune, C4(-/-) animals following the reconstitution of RAG1(-/-) mice with IgM+ CD cells derived from BL/6 mice.

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