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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Origins and functions of B-1 cells with notes on the role of CD5.

Whether B-1a (CD5+) cells are a distinct lineage derived from committed fetal/neonatal precursors or arise from follicular B-2 cells in response to BCR ligation and other, unknown signals remains controversial. Recent evidence indicates that B-1a cells can derive from adult precursors expressing an appropriate specificity when the (self-) antigen is present. Antibody specificity determines whether a B cell expressing immunoglobulin transgenes has a B-2, B-1a or marginal zone (MZ) phenotype. MZ cells share many phenotypic characteristics of B-1 cells and, like them, appear to develop in response to T independent type 2 antigens. Because fetal-derived B cell progenitors fail to express terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) and for other reasons, they are likely to express a repertoire that allows selection into the B-1a population. As it is selected by self-antigen, the B-1 repertoire tends to be autoreactive. This potentially dangerous repertoire is also useful, as B-1 cells are essential for resistance to several pathogens and they play an important role in mucosal immunity. The CD5 molecule can function as a negative regulator of BCR signaling that may help prevent inappropriate activation of autoreactive B-1a cells.[1]


  1. Origins and functions of B-1 cells with notes on the role of CD5. Berland, R., Wortis, H.H. Annu. Rev. Immunol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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