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Phenotypic and molecular characterization of human peripheral blood B-cell subsets with special reference to N-region addition and J kappa-usage in V kappa J kappa-joints and kappa/lambda-ratios in naive versus memory B-cell subsets to identify traces of receptor editing processes



Phenotypic and molecular characterization of human peripheral blood B-cell subsets with special reference to N-region addition and J kappa-usage in V kappa J kappa-joints and kappa/lambda-ratios in naive versus memory B-cell subsets to identify traces of receptor editing processes



Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 246: 141



We identified a population of IgM+IgD+ B-cells in the peripheral blood (PB) of humans that express somatically mutated V-region genes like classical class switched or IgM-only memory B-cells and comprise around 15% of PB B-cells in adults. Mutated IgM+IgD+ cells differ from unmutated naive IgM+IgD+ cells in that they express the CD27 cell surface antigen. In addition, a very small subset of IgD-only B-cells was identified in the PB that carried rearranged VH-genes with an extremely high load of somatic mutations (up to 60 mutations per gene). A common characteristic of the four somatically mutated subsets, which altogether comprise 40% of PB B-lymphocytes in adults, is the surface expression of CD27. This antigen may thus represent a general marker for memory B-cells in the human. Somatically mutated and unmutated PB B-cell subsets were analyzed for N-region addition and J kappa-usage in V kappa J kappa-joints, and in addition for the respective kappa/lambda-ratios: N-nucleotides could be identified in a large fraction of V kappa-regions of all B-cell subsets, indicating that N-region insertion already occurs in the pre-germinal center (GC) phase of B-cell development. Both the J kappa-usage in expressed V kappa J kappa-joints and the kappa/lambda-ratio from somatically mutated B-cells do not differ substantially from those of the unmutated cells, so that in terms of these parameters, a contribution of secondary V kappa J kappa-rearrangements in shaping the memory B-cell repertoire is not detectable.

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Accession: 046973949

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PMID: 10396050


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