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BAFF mediates survival of peripheral immature B lymphocytes


B cell maturation is a very selective process that requires finely tuned differentiation and survival signals. B cell activation factor from the TNF family (BAFF) is a TNF family member that binds to B cells and potentiates B cell receptor (BCR)-mediated proliferation. A role for BAFF in B cell survival was suggested by the observation of reduced peripheral B cell numbers in mice treated with reagents blocking BAFF, and high Bcl-2 levels detected in B cells from BAFF transgenic (Tg) mice. We tested in vitro the survival effect of BAFF on lymphocytes derived from primary and secondary lymphoid organs. BAFF induced survival of a subset of splenic immature B cells, referred to as transitional type 2 (T2) B cells. BAFF treatment allowed T2 B cells to survive and differentiate into mature B cells in response to signals through the BCR. The T2 and the marginal zone (MZ) B cell compartments were particularly enlarged in BAFF Tg mice. Immature transitional B cells are targets for negative selection, a feature thought to promote self-tolerance. These findings support a model in which excessive BAFF-mediated survival of peripheral immature B cells contributes to the emergence and maturation of autoreactive B cells, skewed towards the MZ compartment. This work provides new clues on mechanisms regulating B cell maturation and tolerance.

Type Journal
ISBN 0022-1007 (Print)
Authors Batten, M.;Groom, J.;Cachero, T. G.;Qian, F.;Schneider, P.;Tschopp, J.;Browning, J. L.;Mackay, F. :
Published Date 2000-01-01
Published Volume 192
Published Issue 10
Published Pages 1453-66
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version