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J Immunol. 1998 Aug 15;161(4):1710-7.

CD1 expression defines subsets of follicular and marginal zone B cells in the spleen: beta 2-microglobulin-dependent and independent forms.

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Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5111, USA.


We have used multicolor FACS analysis, immunohistology, and functional assays to study the expression of CD1 on B cell subsets from normal and beta 2m-/- mice. Two B cell subpopulations were identified that express high levels of CD1 in normal mice: splenic marginal zone B cells (IgMhigh IgDlow CD21high CD24intermediate CD23- CD43-) and a newly identified subpopulation of follicular B cells. The latter cells are unusual, because they are IgDhigh CD23+, like follicular B cells, but express high levels of CD21 and IgM, an expression pattern that is associated with marginal zone B cells. Therefore, the high-level expression of CD1 and CD21 was found to be closely associated on splenic B cells. Immunohistology confirmed the expression of CD1 on marginal zone B cells and on clusters of B cells in splenic follicles. Both the high-level CD1 expression by these cells and the low-level CD1 expression by subpopulations of B cells in the spleen, lymph node, peritoneal cavity, and bone marrow were markedly reduced in beta 2m-/- mice. Despite this, a CD1-restricted T cell clone proliferated vigorously in response to LPS-activated spleen cells that had been obtained from both beta 2m-/- and wild-type mice. This response was inhibited by the 3C11 anti-CD1 mAb. These results show the heterogeneity of B cell subsets in their expression of the beta 2m-dependent form of CD1. They further suggest that a beta 2m-independent form of CD1 is expressed on B cells that can stimulate T cells; however, this form is not easily visualized with the anti-CD1 mAb used here.

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