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J Immunol. 2013 Jun 15;190(12):5992-6003. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1201359. Epub 2013 May 15.

B lymphocyte "original sin" in the bone marrow enhances islet autoreactivity in type 1 diabetes-prone nonobese diabetic mice.

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Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN 37232, USA.


Effective central tolerance is required to control the large extent of autoreactivity normally present in the developing B cell repertoire. Insulin-reactive B cells are required for type 1 diabetes in the NOD mouse, because engineered mice lacking this population are protected from disease. The Cg-Tg(Igh-6/Igh-V125)2Jwt/JwtJ (VH125Tg) model is used to define this population, which is found with increased frequency in the periphery of NOD mice versus nonautoimmune C57BL/6 VH125Tg mice; however, the ontogeny of this disparity is unknown. To better understand the origins of these pernicious B cells, anti-insulin B cells were tracked during development in the polyclonal repertoire of VH125Tg mice. An increased proportion of insulin-binding B cells is apparent in NOD mice at the earliest point of Ag commitment in the bone marrow. Two predominant L chains were identified in B cells that bind heterologous insulin. Interestingly, Vκ4-57-1 polymorphisms that confer a CDR3 Pro-Pro motif enhance self-reactivity in VH125Tg/NOD mice. Despite binding circulating autoantigen in vivo, anti-insulin B cells transition from the parenchyma to the sinusoids in the bone marrow of NOD mice and enter the periphery unimpeded. Anti-insulin B cells expand at the site of autoimmune attack in the pancreas and correlate with increased numbers of IFN-γ-producing cells in the repertoire. These data identify the failure to cull autoreactive B cells in the bone marrow as the primary source of anti-insulin B cells in NOD mice and suggest that dysregulation of central tolerance permits their escape into the periphery to promote disease.

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