Characterization of a late transitional B cell population highly sensitive to BAFF-mediated homeostatic proliferation

Almut Meyer-Bahlburg, Sarah F. Andrews, Karl O.A. Yu, Steven A. Porcelli, David J. Rawlings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


We have characterized a distinct, late transitional B cell subset, CD21int transitional 2 (T2) B cells. In contrast to early transitional B cells, CD21int T2 B cells exhibit augmented responses to a range of potential microenvironmental stimuli. Adoptive transfer studies demonstrate that this subset is an immediate precursor of both follicular mature and marginal zone (MZ) B cells. In vivo, a large percentage of CD21 int T2 B cells has entered the cell cycle, and the cycling subpopulation exhibits further augmentation in mitogenic responses and B cell-activating factor of the TNF family (BAFF) receptor expression. Consistent with these features, CD21int T2 cells exhibit preferential responses to BAFF-facilitated homeostatic signals in vivo. In addition, we demonstrate that M167 B cell receptor (BCR) idiotypic-specific B cells are first selected within the cycling CD21int T2 population, ultimately leading to preferential enrichment of these cells within the MZ B cell compartment. These data, in association with the coordinate role for BAFF and microenvironmental cues in determining the mature BCR repertoire, imply that this subset functions as a unique selection point in peripheral B cell development. JEM

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-168
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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