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EMBO J. 1995 Apr 18;14(8):1680-9.

B-1a, B-1b and B-2 B cells display unique VHDJH repertoires formed at different stages of ontogeny and under different selection pressures.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of UmeĆ„, Sweden.


Analyses of VHDJH rearrangements isolated from murine peritoneal B-1a cells (CD5+, IgMhi, B220lo), peritoneal B-1b cells (CD5-, IgMhi, B220lo), and conventional splenic B cells provide evidence that a unique repertoire of VH regions is displayed by each of these B-cell subsets. The B-1a subset is characterized by a low N-region diversity, by a high frequency of sequence homologies in the VH-D and D-JH junctions, and by a limited exonuclease nibbling of the terminals of the joining gene segments. Through expansion in ageing mice, B-1a clones with these properties are favoured. B-1b cells are similar to conventional B-2 cells with respect to N-region diversity, but are unique in terms of D gene expression. Thus, while most murine pre-B and B cells preferentially use DSP and DFL gene segments in a given reading frame (RF1), B-1b cells frequently express D genes in another reading frame (RF2). Together, these findings provide structural evidence for a model where B-1a, B-1b and B-2 cells are produced by separate progenitors that are active at different stages of ontogeny.

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