The skewed heavy-chain repertoire in peritoneal B-1 cells is predetermined by the selection via pre-B cell receptor during B cell ontogeny in the fetal liver

Soichiro Yoshikawa, Yohei Kawano, Yoshiyuki Minegishi, Hajime Karasuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


As many as 5-15% of B-1 cells in the peritoneal cavity of adult mice produce antibodies reactive to phosphatidylcholine (PtC) and the vast majority of them express B cell receptors (BCRs) composed of VH11-μH chains utilizing the JH1 segment and Vκ9-L chains. This extremely skewed repertoire of PtC-reactive B-1 cells is traditionally attributed to the expansion of particular clones in response to self or exogenous antigens. Here, we show that the strong bias toward the JH1 usage among VH11-μH chains is already established prior to the BCR assembly, namely at the transition from the large to the small pre-B cell stage during B cell ontogeny in the fetal liver. Among VH11-μH clones isolated from large pre-B cells where the JH1 skewing was not established yet, the JH1 users showed the highest ability to form pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) and to induce cellular proliferation and differentiation when expressed in fetal liver pro-B cells. Thus, the JH1 users were positively selected and amplified at the pre-BCR checkpoint. When co-expressed with Vκ9-L chains to form BCR, the JH1 users almost exclusively conferred the PtC reactivity on BCR even though other JH users could also form BCR on the cell surface. Therefore, the pre-BCR-mediated positive selection of the JH1 users among VH11-μH chains appears to be beneficial to the efficient generation of 'innate-type' PtC-reactive B cells during the fetal B cell development, even before the self-renewal or the antigen-driven clonal expansion of B-1 cells takes place in the peritoneal cavity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 5 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • B cell development
  • J1
  • Surrogate light chain
  • Vκ9
  • V11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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