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Eur J Immunol. 1998 Sep;28(9):2685-93.

The role of the B cell receptor V region in peripheral B cell survival.

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Laboratoire des Dynamiques Lymphocytaires, CNRS URA1961, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


We investigate the role of the antigen-specific B cell receptor (BCR) in the establishment and maintenance of the peripheral B cell pools. We studied the fate of a population of transgenic B cells expressing a BCR without V region (Tg(deltaVmu)). We found that the Tg(deltaVmu) B cells can populate the peripheral B cell pools in the absence of other B cells, but when in the presence of a second population of non-transgenic B cells, they are virtually absent from the mature B cell compartments. By studying the rate of accumulation of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine we show that the peripheral Tg(deltaVmu) B cells have a shorter life-span compared to non-transgenic B cells. By directly comparing the fate of two populations of transgenic B cells, either lacking or expressing a V region, we were able to assign the poorest competitive ability and the short peripheral survival of the Tg(delatVmu) B cells to the lack of an antigen-binding site. The results obtained support the involvement of the V region in the persistence of peripheral B cell populations.

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