Letter | Published:

Peripheral deletion of self-reactive B cells

Nature volume 354, pages 308311 (28 November 1991) | Download Citation

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Abstract

B LYMPHOCYTES are key participants in the immune response because of their specificity, their ability to take up and present antigens to T cells, and their capacity to differentiate into antibody-secreting cells. To limit reactivity to self antigens, autospecific B cells can be functionally inactivated or deleted1–4. Developing B cells that react with membrane antigens expressed in the bone marrow are deleted from the peripheral lymphocyte pool4–6. It is important to ascertain the fate of B cells that recognize membrane autoantigens expressed exclusively on peripheral tisues because B cells in the peripheral lymphoid organs are phenotypically and functionally distinct from bone-marrow B cells7–9. Here we show that in immunoglobulin-transgenic mice, B cells specific for major histocompatibility complex class I antigen can be deleted if they encounter membrane-bound antigen at a post-bone-marrow stage of development. This deletion may be necessary to prevent organ-specific autoimmunity.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Division of Basic Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA

    • David M. Russell
    •  & David Nemazee
  2. Department of Molecular Biology, Hoffmann-La Roche, CH-4005 Basel, Switzerland

    • Zlatko Dembić
  3. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria 3050, Australia

    • Grant Morahan
    •  & J. F. A. P. Miller
  4. Department of Biotechnology, Sandoz, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland

    • Kurt BÜrki
  5. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA

    • David Nemazee
  6. To whom correspondence should be addressed

    • David Nemazee

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https://doi.org/10.1038/354308a0

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