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J Exp Med. 1996 Dec 1;184(6):2217-29.

Ordering of human bone marrow B lymphocyte precursors by single-cell polymerase chain reaction analyses of the rearrangement status of the immunoglobulin H and L chain gene loci.

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Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


CD19+CD10+ human B lineage bone marrow cells were separated into cycling or resting cells, which differ in their expression of CD34, VpreB, recombination activating gene (RAG-1), and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT). Polymerase chain reaction analyses developed for DHJH and VkJk, VkJkK(de) and VkK(de) rearrangements with DNA of single cells and a comparison with B lineage cell development in mouse bone marrow, allow to delineate the human B lymphocyte pathway of development as follows: CD34+VpreB+RAG-1+TdT+, DHJH-rearranged, kL germline cycling pre-B I cells-->CD34-VpreB+microH chain+ (pre-B receptor+) RAG-1-TdT-, VHDHJH-rearranged, kL germline, cycling pre-B II cells-->CD34-VpreB-, intracytoplasmic microH chain+ (pre-B receptor-) RAG-1+/-TdT-, VHDHJH-rearranged, mainly kL germline cycling pre-B II cells-->CD34-VpreB-intracytoplasmic microH chain+, RAG-1+TdT-, VHDHJH-rearranged, VkJk-rearranged, IgM-, resting pre-B II cells CD34+VpreB-, sIgM+, RAG-1+TdT-, VHDHJH- and VkJk-rearranged IgM+ immature B cells-->CD34-, CD10-, sIgM+/sIgD+ mature B cells. This order, for the first time established for human B lineage cells, shows striking similarities with that established for mouse B lineage cells in bone marrow.

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