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Blood. 2011 Jun 16;117(24):6552-61. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-12-323113. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Galectin-1-expressing stromal cells constitute a specific niche for pre-BII cell development in mouse bone marrow.

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Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix Marseille University, Faculté des Sciences de Luminy, Marseille, France;


In the bone marrow (BM), stromal cells constitute a supportive tissue indispensable for the generation of pro-B/pre-BI, pre-BII, and immature B lymphocytes. IL-7-producing stromal cells constitute a cellular niche for pro-B/pre-BI cells, but no specific stromal cell microenvironment was identified for pre-BII cells expressing a functional pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR). However expression of the pre-BCR represents a crucial checkpoint during B-cell development. We recently demonstrated that the stromal cell derived-galectin1 (GAL1) is a ligand for the pre-BCR, involved in the proliferation and differentiation of normal mouse pre-BII cells. Here we show that nonhematopoietic osteoblasts and reticular cells in the BM express GAL1. We observed that pre-BII cells, unlike the other B-cell subsets, were specifically localized in close contact with GAL1(+) reticular cells. We also determined that IL-7(+) and GAL1(+) cells represent 2 distinct mesenchymal populations with different BM localization. These results demonstrate the existence of a pre-BII specific stromal cell niche and indicate that early B cells move from IL-7(+) to GAL1(+) supportive BM niches during their development.

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