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J Immunol. 2011 Oct 1;187(7):3565-77. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1101534. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Differential expression of the adaptor protein HSH2 controls the quantitative and qualitative nature of the humoral response.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


Endogenous expression of the adaptor protein hematopoietic Src homology 2-containing adaptor protein (HSH2) is regulated in a dynamic manner during B cell maturation and differentiation. Developing B cells lack detectable HSH2, whereas transitional 1 and 2 B cells in the periphery exhibit increasing levels of expression. Mature follicular B cells exhibit decreased expression of HSH2 compared with transitional 2 B cells, and expression is further downregulated in germinal center B cells. In contrast, marginal zone B cells and B1a/b B cells exhibit high-level HSH2 expression. Regulation of HSH2 expression plays a critical role in determining the outcome of the humoral immune response as demonstrated using HSH2 transgenic (Tg) mice. Constitutive expression of HSH2 in the B lineage at levels comparable to B1a/b B cells results in decreased serum Ig titers for all subclasses with the exception of IgA. HSH2 Tg mice immunized with T-dependent or T-independent Ags exhibit a moderate decrease in the production of Ag-specific IgM, whereas class-switched isotypes are decreased by ∼80-90% compared with control mice. Analysis of HSH2 Tg B cell activation in vitro demonstrated that HSH2 selectively regulates the B cell response to TNF family receptors (i.e., CD40 and BAFF-R), but not BCR- or TLR-dependent signals. These data demonstrate that changes in HSH2 expression have profound effects on the humoral immune response.

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