Apoptotic marginal zone deletion of anti-Sm/ribonucleoprotein B cells

Yusuke Kishi, Tetsuya Higuchi, Shirly Phoon, Yasuo Sakamaki, Koki Kamiya, Gabriela Riemekasten, Kazunari Akiyoshi, Martin G. Weigert*, Takeshi Tsubata

*Corresponding author for this work
12 Citations (Scopus)


CD40L is excessively produced in both human and murine lupus and plays a role in lupus pathogenesis. To address how excess CD40L induces autoantibody production, we crossed CD40L-transgenic mice with the anti-DNA H-chain transgenic mouse lines 3H9 and 56R, well-characterized models for studying B-cell tolerance to nuclear antigens. Excess CD40L did not induce autoantibody production in 3H9 mice in which anergy maintains self-tolerance, nor did it perturb central tolerance, including deletion and receptor editing, of anti-DNA B cells in 56R mice. In contrast, CD40L/56R mice restored a large number of marginal zone (MZ) B cells reactive to Sm/ribonucleoprotein (RNP) and produced autoantibody, whereas these B cells were deleted by apoptosis in MZ of 56R mice. Thus, excess CD40L efficiently blocked tolerance of Sm/RNP-reactive MZ B cells, leading to production of anti-Sm/RNP antibody implicated in the pathogenesis of lupus. These results suggest that self-reactive B cells such as anti-Sm/RNP B cells, which somehow escape tolerance in the bone marrow and migrate to MZ, are tolerized by apoptotic deletion in MZ and that a break in this tolerance may play a role in the pathogenesis of lupus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)7811-7816
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 15.05.2012

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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