[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyclonal B cell activation is a hallmark of the immune dysregulation in New Zealand Black (NZB) mice. We have previously shown that the splenic B cell activation is associated with increased CD80 expression. Here we show that abnormal expansions of CD80-expressing GC, CD5(+), marginal zone (MZ) precursor and MZ B cells produce this increase. To investigate the role of BCR engagement in the generation and activation of these populations, a non-self-reactive Ig Tg was introduced onto the NZB background. NZB Ig-Tg mice lacked Tg CD5(+) and peanut agglutinin(+) B cells, confirming the role of endogenous Ag in their selection. Although the increased proportion of MZ B cells was retained in NZB Ig-Tg mice, CD80 expression on these cells was reduced as compared to non-Tg NZB mice, suggesting a role for BCR engagement with endogenous Ag in their activation. Examination of CD40L-knockout NZB mice showed no difference in the abnormal activation or selection of the B cell populations, with the exception of GC cells, as compared to wild-type NZB mice. Thus, polyclonal B cell activation in NZB mice does not require CD40 engagement, but results, in part, from dysregulated BCR-specific mechanisms.
Preview · Article · Oct 2007 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New Zealand Black (NZB) mice develop a lupus-like syndrome. Although the precise immune defects leading to autoantibody production in these mice have not been characterized, they possess a number of immunologic abnormalities suggesting that B cell tolerance may be defective. In the bone marrow, immature self-reactive B cells that have failed to edit their receptors undergo apoptosis as a consequence of Ig receptor engagement. Splenic transitional T1 B cells are recent bone marrow emigrants that retain these signaling properties, ensuring that B cells recognizing self-Ags expressed only in the periphery are deleted from the naive B cell repertoire. In this study we report that this mechanism of tolerance is defective in NZB mice. We show that NZB T1 B cells are resistant to apoptosis after IgM cross-linking in vitro. Although extensive IgM cross-linking usually leads to deletion of T1 B cells, in NZB T1 B cells we found that it prevents mitochondrial membrane damage, inhibits activation of caspase-3, and promotes cell survival. Increased survival of NZB T1 B cells was associated with aberrant up-regulation of Bcl-2 after Ig receptor engagement. We also show that there is a markedly increased proportion of NZB T1 B cells that express elevated levels of Bcl-2 in vivo and provide evidence that up-regulation of Bcl-2 follows encounter with self-Ag in vivo. Thus, we propose that aberrant cell signaling in NZB T1 B cells leads to the survival of autoreactive B cells, which predisposes NZB mice to the development of autoimmunity.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · The Journal of Immunology