Survival of Igα-deficient mature B cells requires BAFF-R function


  • E. Levit-Zerdoun
  • M. Becker
  • R. Pohlmeyer
  • I. Wilhelm
  • P.C. Maity
  • K. Rajewsky
  • M. Reth
  • E. Hobeika


  • Journal of Immunology


  • J Immunol 196 (5): 2348-2360


  • Expression of a functional BCR is essential for the development of mature B cells and has been invoked in the control of their maintenance. To test this maintenance function in a new experimental setting, we used the tamoxifen-inducible mb1-CreERT2 mouse strain to delete or truncate either the mb-1 gene encoding the BCR signaling subunit Igalpha or the VDJ segment of the IgH (H chain [HC]). In this system, Cre-mediated deletion of the mb-1 gene is accompanied by expression of a GFP reporter. We found that, although the Igalpha-deficient mature B cells survive for >20 d in vivo, the HC-deficient or Igalpha tail-truncated B cell population is short-lived, with the HC-deficient cells displaying signs of an unfolded protein response. We also show that Igalpha-deficient B cells still respond to the prosurvival factor BAFF in culture and require BAFF-R signaling for their in vivo maintenance. These results suggest that, under certain conditions, the loss of the BCR can be tolerated by mature B cells for some time, whereas HC-deficient B cells, potentially generated by aberrant somatic mutations in the germinal center, are rapidly eliminated.