The abundance of B-1a cells found in the peritoneal cavity of mice is under genetic control. The lupus-prone mouse New Zealand Black and New Zealand White (NZB × NZW)F1 and its derivative NZM2410 are among the strains with the highest numbers of peritoneal B1-a cells. We have previously identified an NZM2410 genetic locus, Sle2, which is associated with the production of large numbers of B-1a cells. In this paper, we examined the mechanisms responsible for this phenotype by comparing congenic C57BL/6 mice with or without Sle2. Fetal livers generated more B-1a cells in B6.Sle2 mice, providing them with a greater starting number of B-1a cells early in life. Sle2-expressing B1-a cells proliferated significantly more in vivo than their B6 counterparts, and reciprocal adoptive transfers showed that this phenotype is intrinsic to Sle2 peritoneal B cells. The rate of apoptosis detected was significantly lower in B6.Sle2 peritoneal cavity B-1a cells than in B6, with or without exogenous B cell receptor cross-linking. Increased proliferation and decreased apoptosis did not affect Sle2 peritoneal B-2 cells. In addition, a significant number of peritoneal cavity B-1a cells were recovered in lethally irradiated B6.Sle2 mice reconstituted with B6.Igha bone marrow, showing radiation resistance in Sle2 B-1a cells or its precursors. Finally, B6.Sle2 adult bone marrow and spleen were a significant source of peritoneal B-1a cells when transferred into B6.Rag2-/- mice. This suggests that peritoneal B-1a cells are replenished throughout the animal life span in B6.Sle2 mice. These results show that Sle2 regulates the size of the B-1a cell compartment at multiple developmental checkpoints.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy