A unique B2 B cell subset in the intestine

Yasuyo Shimomura, Atsuhiro Ogawa, Mayumi Kawada, Ken Sugimoto, Emiko Mizoguchi, Hai Ning Shi, Shiv Pillai, Atul K. Bhan, Atsushi Mizoguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Over 80% of the body's activated B cells are located in mucosal sites, including the intestine. The intestine contains IgM+ B cells, but these cells have not been characterized phenotypically or in terms of their developmental origins. We describe a previously unidentified and unique subset of immunoglobulin M+ B cells that present with an AA4.1 -CD21-CD23- major histocompatibility complex class IIbright surface phenotype and are characterized by a low frequency of somatic hypermutation and the potential ability to produce interleukin-12p70. This B cell subset resides within the normal mucosa of the large intestine and expands in response to inflammation. Some of these intestinal B cells originate from the AA4.1+ immature B2 cell pool in the steady state and are also recruited from the recirculating naive B cell pool in the context of intestinal inflammation. They develop in an antigen-independent and BAFF-dependent manner in the absence of T cell help. Expansion of these cells can be induced in the absence of the spleen and gut-associated lymphoid tissues. These results describe the existence of an alternative pathway of B cell maturation in the periphery that gives rise to a tissue-specific B cell subset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1355
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 09-06-2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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