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Nature. 1989 Feb 9;337(6207):562-6.

Clonal deletion of B lymphocytes in a transgenic mouse bearing anti-MHC class I antibody genes.

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  • 1Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


B lymphocytes can be rendered specifically unresponsive to antigen by experimental manipulation in vivo and in vitro, but it remains unclear whether or not natural tolerance involves B-cell tolerance because B cells are controlled by T lymphocytes, and in their absence respond poorly to antigen (reviewed in ref. 7). In addition, autoantibody-producing cells can be found in normal mice and their formation is enhanced by B-cell mitogens such as lipopolysaccharides. We have studied B-cell tolerance in transgenic mice using genes for IgM anti-H-2k MHC class I antibody. In H-2d transgenic mice about 25-50% of the splenic B cells bear membrane immunoglobulin of this specificity, and abundant serum IgM encoded by the transgenes is produced. In contrast, H-2k x H-2d (H-2-d/k) transgenic mice lack B cells bearing the anti-H-2k idiotype and contain no detectable serum anti-H-2k antibody, suggesting that very large numbers of autospecific B cells can be controlled by clonal deletion.

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