Cell extrinsic alterations in splenic B cell maturation in Flt3-ligand knockout mice.
ABSTRACT: B lymphopoiesis in bone marrow (BM) is critical for maintaining a diverse peripheral B cell pool to fight infection and establish lifelong immunity. The generation of immature B cells is reduced in Flt3-ligand (FL-/-) mice leading to deficiencies in splenic B cells. Here, we sought to understand the cellular basis of the spleen B cell deficiency in FL-/- mice. Significant reductions in transitional (TS) and follicular (FO) B cells were found in FL-/- mice, and increased frequencies, but not absolute numbers, of marginal zone (MZ) B cells. BAFF-R expression on splenic B cells and serum levels of B cell activating factor (BAFF) was comparable to wildtype (WT) mice. Mixed BM chimeras revealed that the reductions in TS and FO B cells were cell extrinsic. FL administration into FL-/- mice restored the deficiency in TS B cells and normalized the MZ compartment. Ki67 analysis revealed a significant decrease in the proliferative capacity of TS B cells in FL-/- mice. A Bcl2 transgene did not rescue TS cells in FL-/- mice, uncoupling FL-deficiency to Bcl2-dependent survival pathways. Upregulation of CD1d expression and adoptive transfer experiments suggested MZ skewing in FL-/- mice. These findings support an integral role for Flt3 signaling in peripheral B cell maturation.
Project description:Transcriptional control of marginal zone (MZ) and follicular (FO) B cell development remains incompletely understood. The transcription factor, IFN regulatory factor (IRF)8, is known to play important roles in the differentiation of early B cells. In this article, we demonstrate that IRF8 is also required for normal development of MZ and FO B cells. Mice with a conventional knockout of Irf8 (IRF8(-/-)) or a point mutation in the IRF association domain of IRF8 had increased numbers of MZ B cells. To determine the B cell-intrinsic effects of IRF8 deficiency, we generated mice with a conditional allele of Irf8 crossed with CD19-Cre mice (designated IRF8-conditional knockout [CKO]). These mice had enlarged MZ and increased numbers of MZ and FO B cells compared with controls. The FO B cells of CKO mice exhibited reduced expression of CD23 and moderately increased expression of CD21. Gene-expression profiling showed that increased B cell production in IRF8-CKO mice was associated with changes in expression of genes involved in regulation of transcription, signaling, and inflammation. Functional studies showed that IRF8-CKO mice generated normal Ab responses to T-independent and T-dependent Ags. Thus, IRF8 controls the expansion and maturation of MZ and FO B cells but has little effect on B cell function.
Project description:Flt3 signaling plays a crucial role in regulating the survival and differentiation of lymphoid progenitors into B cell precursors (BCPs) in bone marrow. To define further the role of Flt3 signaling in lymphoid progenitor survival, mice deficient in Flt3 ligand that also expressed a Bcl2 transgene (E?-bcl2tg flt3l(-/-)) were generated. Intracellular flow cytometry established transgene expression in primitive hematopoietic progenitors, including lineage-negative Sca-1(+) c-kit(+) (LSK(+)) CD27(-) cells enriched for functional hematopoietic stem cells. Compared with flt3l(-/-) mice, E?-bcl2tg flt3l(-/-) mice had significantly increased multipotential progenitors (MPPs), IL-7R(+) common lymphoid progenitors, and B cell precursors. To determine whether forced expression of Bcl2 was sufficient to restore lymphoid priming in the absence of Flt3 signaling E?-bcl2tg flt3l(-/-)rag1-gfp(+) mice were generated. Analysis of E?-bcl2tg flt3l(-/-)rag1-gfp(+) mice revealed that the Bcl2 transgene had no effect on lymphoid priming before CD19 expression. Thus, forced expression of a survival gene can bypass the requirement for threshold levels of Flt3 signaling requisite for lymphoid priming. Temporal Flt3 ligand (FL) replacement therapy in flt3l(-/-) mice revealed specific requirements for Flt3 signaling in the expansion and maintenance of Flt3(+hi) MPP and Flt3(+) all lymphoid progenitors, but not Flt3(+) B lymphoid progenitors (BLPs), the immediate precursors of BCPs. BCPs were restored after temporal in vivo FL treatment, albeit with delayed kinetics. Together, these results show that Flt3 regulates the proliferation, survival, and maintenance of developmental stage-specific hematopoietic progenitors that give rise to BCPs.
Project description:The quality and quantity of BCR signals impact on cell fate decisions of B lymphocytes. Here, we describe novel gene-targeted mice, which in the context of normal VDJ recombination show hypomorphic expression of immunoglobulin ? heavy chain (?HC) mRNA levels and hence lower pre-BCR and BCR levels. Hypomorphic expression of ?HC leads to augmented selection processes at all stages of B-cell development, noticeably at the expansion of pre-B cells, the positive selection of immature B lymphocytes in the bone marrow and the selection of the follicular (FO), marginal zone (MZ) and B1 B-lymphocyte compartment in peripheral lymphoid organs. Immature as well as mature FO and MZ B lymphocytes in the peripheral lymphoid organs express lower levels of the receptor for B-cell activating factor (BAFF). In addition, hypomorphic expression of the BCR favours receptor editing. Together, our results highlight the critical importance of pre-BCR and BCR receptor levels for the normal development of B-lymphocyte subpopulations in the context of intact VDJ recombination and a diverse antibody repertoire.
Project description:MicroRNAs have been shown to be critical for a number of aspects of immune system regulation and function. Here, we have examined the role of microRNAs in terminal B cell differentiation by analyzing Cd19-Cre(ki/+) Dicer1(fl/fl) mice. We found that in the absence of Dicer, the transitional and marginal zone (MZ) B cell compartments were overrepresented and follicular (FO) B cell generation was impaired. microRNA analysis revealed that miR185, a microRNA overexpressed in FO cells, dampened B cell receptor (BCR) signaling through Bruton tyrosine kinase downregulation. Dicer-deficient B cells had a skewed BCR repertoire with hallmarks of autoreactivity, which correlated with high titers of autoreactive antibodies in serum and autoimmune features in females. Together, our results reveal a crucial role for microRNAs in late B cell differentiation and in the establishment of B cell tolerance.
Project description:The pathogenic connection of type I IFN and its role in regulating the migration response of Ag delivery by B cells into lymphoid follicles in an autoimmune condition has not been well-identified. Here, we show that there was a significantly larger population of marginal zone precursor (MZ-P) B cells, defined as being IgM(hi)CD1d(hi)CD21(hi)CD23(hi) in the spleens of autoimmune BXD2 mice compared with B6 mice. MZ-P B cells were highly proliferative compared with marginal zone (MZ) and follicular (FO) B cells. The intrafollicular accumulation of MZ-P B cells in proximity to germinal centers (GCs) in BXD2 mice facilitated rapid Ag delivery to the GC area, whereas Ag-carrying MZ B cells, residing predominantly in the periphery, had a lower ability to carry Ag into the GCs. IFN-alpha, generated by plasmacytoid dendritic cells, induced the expression of CD69 and suppressed the sphingosine-1-phosphate-induced chemotactic response, promoting FO-oriented Ag transport by MZ-P B cells. Knockout of type I IFN receptor in BXD2 (BXD2-Ifnalphar(-/-)) mice substantially diffused the intrafollicular MZ-P B cell conglomeration and shifted their location to the FO-MZ border near the marginal sinus, making Ag delivery to the FO interior less efficient. The development of spontaneous GCs was decreased in BXD2-Ifnalphar(-/-) mice. Together, our results suggest that the MZ-P B cells are major Ag-delivery B cells and that the FO entry of these B cells is highly regulated by type I IFN-producing plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the marginal sinus in the spleens of autoimmune BXD2 mice.
Project description:Antibodies against type II collagen (CII) are essential for development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), but how and where the B-cell response to CII is initiated is not fully known. We show here that naive DBA/1 mice display naturally reactive IgM and IgG anti-CII producing B cells prior to immunization. The CII-reactive B cells were observed in the spleen and recognized as marginal zone (MZ) B cells. After CII immunization, CII-specific B cells expanded rapidly in the spleen, in contrast to the lymph nodes, with the initial response derived from MZ B cells and later by follicular (FO) B cells. This was evident despite that the MZ B cells were subject to stringent tolerance mechanisms by having a greater Fc gamma receptor IIb expression than the FO B cells. Further, the MZ B cells migrated to the FO areas upon immunization, possibly providing antigen and activating FO T cells and subsequently FO B cells. Thus, around CIA onset increased numbers of IgG anti-CII producing FO B cells was seen in the spleen, which was dominated by IgG2a- and IgG2b-positive cells. These data demonstrate that CII-reactive MZ B cells are present before and expand after CII immunization, suggesting an initiating role of MZ B cells in the development of CIA.
Project description:Splenic transitional B-cells (T1 and T2) are selected to avoid self-reactivity and to safeguard against autoimmunity, then differentiate into mature follicular (FO-I and FO-II) and marginal zone (MZ) subsets. Transcriptomic analysis by RNA-seq of the five B-cell subsets revealed T1 cell signature genes included RAG suggesting a potential for receptor revision. T1 to T2 B-cell differentiation was marked by a switch from Myb to Myc, increased expression of the PI3K adapter DAP10 and MHC class II. FO-II may be an intermediate in FO-I differentiation and may also become MZ B-cells as suggested by principle component analysis. MZ B-cells possessed the most distinct transcriptome including down-regulation of CD45 phosphatase-associated protein (CD45-AP/PTPRC-AP), as well as upregulation of IL-9R and innate molecules TLR3, TLR7, and bactericidal Perforin-2 (MPEG1). Among the endosomal TLRs, stimulation via TLR3 further enhanced Perforin-2 expression exclusively in MZ B-cells. Using gene-deleted and overexpressing transgenic mice we show that IL-9/IL-9R interaction resulted in rapid activation of STAT1, 3, and 5, primarily in MZ B-cells. Importantly, CD45-AP mutant mice had reduced transitional and increased mature MZ and FO B-cells, suggesting that it prevents premature entry of transitional B-cells to the mature B-cell pool or their survival and proliferation. Together, these findings suggest, developmental plasticity among splenic B-cell subsets, potential for receptor revision in peripheral tolerance whereas enhanced metabolism coincides with T2 to mature B-cell differentiation. Further, unique core transcriptional signatures in MZ B-cells may control their innate features.
Project description:The adenosine/uridine-rich element (ARE)-binding protein AUF1 functions to regulate the inflammatory response through the targeted degradation of cytokine and other mRNAs that contain specific AREs in their 3' noncoding region (3' NCR). To investigate the role of AUF1 in the immune system, we characterized the lymphoid compartments of AUF1-deficient mice.Mice lacking AUF1 exhibit an altered proportion and size of splenic B cell subsets. We show prominent apoptosis in splenic B cell follicles and reduced expression of Bcl-2, A1, and Bcl-XL correlate with increased turnover and significant reduction in the number and proportion of splenic FO B cells in AUF1-deficient mice. In addition, AUF1-deficient mice exhibit a sharp decrease in splenic size and lymphocyte cellularity. Bone marrow transfer studies demonstrate that AUF1 deficiency induces cell-autonomous defects in mature B cell subsets but not in the overall number of splenocytes. Reconstitution of irradiated adult AUF1-deficient mice with wild-type bone marrow restores the proportion of FO and marginal zone (MZ) B cells, but does not rescue the decrease in the number of splenocytes. Functionally, AUF1-deficient mice mount an attenuated response to T cell-independent (TI) antigen, which correlates with impaired MZ B cell function.These data indicate that AUF1 is important in the maintenance of splenic FO B cells and adequate humoral immune responses.
Project description:B cell activating factor (BAFF) is essential for B cells to develop and respond to Ags. Dysregulation of BAFF contributes to the development of some autoimmune diseases and malignancies. Little is known about when, where, and how BAFF is produced in vivo and about which BAFF-producing cells contribute to B cell responses. To better understand BAFF functions, we created BAFF reporter (BAFF-RFP) mice and Baff floxed (Bafffl/fl ) mice. Splenic and bone marrow neutrophils (Nphs) from BAFF-RFP mice expressed the highest constitutive levels of BAFF; other myeloid subsets, including conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) and monocyte (MO) subsets, expressed lower levels. Treatment of BAFF-RFP mice with polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid increased BAFF expression in splenic Ly6Chi inflammatory MOs, CD11bhi activated NK subset, and in bone marrow myeloid precursors. Postinfection with West Nile virus (WNV), BAFF increased in CD8- cDCs and Nphs, and BAFF+ CD11bhi NK cells expanded in draining lymph nodes. The cell- and tissue-specific increases in BAFF expression were dependent on type I IFN signaling. MAVS also was required or contributed to BAFF expression in dendritic cell and MO subsets, respectively. Mice with deletion of Baff in either cDCs or Nphs had reduced Ab responses after NP-Ficoll immunization; thus, BAFF produced by both cDCs and Nphs contributes to T cell-independent Ab responses. Conversely, mice with a cDC Baff deficiency had increased mortality after WNV infection and decreased WNV-specific IgG and neutralizing Ab responses. BAFF produced by Nphs and cDCs is regulated differently and has key roles in Ab responses and protective immunity.
Project description:BCL10, required for nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation during antigen-driven lymphocyte responses, is aberrantly expressed in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue-type marginal zone (MZ) lymphomas because of chromosomal translocations. Emu-driven human BCL10 transgenic (Tg) mice, which we created and characterize here, had expanded populations of MZ B cells and reduced follicular and B1a cells. Splenic B cells from Tg mice exhibited constitutive activation of both canonical and noncanonical NF-kappaB signaling pathways is associated with increased expression of NF-kappaB target genes. These genes included Tnfsf13b, which encodes the B-cell activating factor (BAFF). In addition, levels of BAFF were significantly increased in sera from Tg mice. MZ B cells of Tg mice exhibited reduced turnover in vivo and enhanced survival in vitro, indicative of lymphoaccumulation rather than lymphoproliferation as the cause of MZ expansion. In vivo antibody responses to both T-independent, and especially T-dependent, antigens were significantly reduced in Tg mice. Mortality was accelerated in Tg animals, and some mice older than 8 months had histologic and molecular findings indicative of clonal splenic MZ lymphoma. These results suggest that, in addition to constitutive activation of BCL10 in MZ B cells, other genetic factors or environmental influences are required for short latency oncogenic transformation.