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Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Chemokine-mediated B cell trafficking during early rabbit GALT development.


PMID 25385821

Abstract

Microbial and host cell interactions stimulate rabbit B cells to diversify the primary Ab repertoire in GALT. B cells at the base of appendix follicles begin proliferating and diversifying their V-(D)-J genes around 1 wk of age, ∼5 d after B cells first begin entering appendix follicles. To gain insight into the microbial and host cell interactions that stimulate B cells to diversify the primary Ab repertoire, we analyzed B cell trafficking within follicles during the first week of life. We visualized B cells, as well as chemokines that mediate B cell homing in lymphoid tissues, by in situ hybridization, and we examined B cell chemokine receptor expression by flow cytometry. We found that B cells were activated and began downregulating their BCRs well before a detectable B cell proliferative region appeared at the follicle base. The proliferative region was similar to germinal center dark zones, in that it exhibited elevated CXCL12 mRNA expression, and B cells that upregulated CXCR4 mRNA in response to signals acquired from selected intestinal commensals localized in this region. Our results suggest that after entering appendix follicles, B cells home sequentially to the follicle-associated epithelium, the follicular dendritic cell network, the B cell/T cell boundary, and, ultimately, the base of the follicle, where they enter a proliferative program and diversify the primary Ab repertoire.

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