Phenotypically distinct B cell development pathways map to the three B cell lineages in the mouse

James W. Tung, Matthew D. Mrazek, Yang Yang, Leonard A. Herzenberg, Leonore A. Herzenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


A recent article by Montecino-Rodriguez et al. [Montecino-Rodriguez, E., Leathers, H. & Dorshkind, K. (2006) Nat. Immunol. 7, 293-301] has distinguished the early progenitors for B-1 cells, which principally develop in neonates, from early progenitors for B-2 cells, which principally develop in adult bone marrow. Here we introduce syndecan-1 (CD138) and MHC class II (I-A) as markers of early B cell development [Hardy, R. R., Carmack, C. E., Shinton, S. A., Kemp, J. D. & Hayakawa, K. (1991) J. Exp. Med. 173, 1213-1225; Hardy fractions B-D] and show that the expression of these markers distinguishes the predominant B cell development pathway in neonates from the corresponding predominant pathway in adults (both progenitors are present but differently represented in each case). We show that pre-B cells (Hardy fraction D) in the predominant adult pathway express high levels of CD138 and intermediate levels of I-A, whereas the corresponding pre-B cells in the pathway that predominates in neonates do not express either of these markers. As expected, because most of the pre-B cells in adults express CD138, we find that sorted CD138+ adult pre-B cells differentiate to IgM+ B cells in vitro. Sorted CD138- pre-B cells from neonates, the majority subset at this age, also mature to IgM+ cells (without passing through a CD138 + stage). Importantly, our studies here confirm the differential representation of adult and neonatal progenitor populations and further demonstrate that CD138 expression subdivides the adult CD19+, B220-6B2-/low population shown to contain B-1 progenitors in a way consistent with the predominance of B-1b progenitors in adults. Thus, CD138 expression provides a key route to distinguishing early B cell development pathway for what now are clearly three B cell lineages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6293-6298
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 18 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • B-1 cells
  • B-2 cells
  • CD138
  • MHC class II
  • Progenitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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