Generation of mature B lymphocytes from early (T1) and late transitional (T2) precursors requires cooperative signaling through BCR and B cell-activating factor receptor 3 (BR3). Recent studies have shown that BCR signaling positively regulates NF-κB2, suggesting BCR regulation of BR3 signaling. To investigate the significance of signal integration from BCR and BR3 in B cell development and function, we crossed Btk-deficient mice (btk-/-), which are developmentally blocked between the T2 and the mature follicular B cell stage as a result of a partial defect in BCR signaling, and A/WySnJ mice, which possess a mutant BR3 defective in propagating intracellular signals that results in a severely reduced peripheral B cell compartment, although all B cell subsets are present in relatively normal ratios. A/WySnJ x btk-/- mice display a B cell-autonomous defect, resulting in a developmental block at an earlier stage (T1) than either mutation alone, leading to the loss of mature splenic follicular and marginal zone B cells, as well as the loss of peritoneal B1 and B2 cell populations. The competence of the double mutant T1 B cells to respond to TLR4 and CD40 survival and activation signals is further attenuated compared with single mutations as evidenced by severely reduced humoral immune responses in vivo and proliferation in response to anti-IgM, LPS, and anti-CD40 stimulation in vitro. Thus, BCR and BR3 independently and in concert regulate the survival, differentiation, and function of all B cell populations at and beyond T1, earliest transitional stage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy