B Cells Suppress the Inflammatory Response in a Mouse Model of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Yuki Moritoki, Weici Zhang, Koichi Tsuneyama, Katsunori Yoshida, Kanji Wakabayashi, Guo Xiang Yang, Christopher Bowlus, William M. Ridgway, Yoshiyuki Ueno, Aftab A. Ansari, Ross L. Coppel, Ian R. Mackay, Richard A. Flavell, M. Eric Gershwin, Zhe Xiong Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Mice that express a dominant-negative form of transforming growth factor-β receptor restricted to T cells (dnTGF-βRII) develop antimitochondrial antibodies and liver inflammation similar to human primary biliary cirrhosis. Methods: To address the role of B cells in this model of primary biliary cirrhosis, we bred B cell-deficient mice (Igμ-/-) with dnTGF-βRII mice, creating Igμ-/-dnTGF-βRII mice, and compared the resulting disease phenotype with that of dnTGF-βRII mice (controls). We also performed adoptive transfer of dnTGF-βRII CD8+ splenocytes, with or without B cells, to 8-week-old female Rag-1-/- mice to assess the role of B cells in the inflammatory response. Results: The B cell-deficient Igμ-/-dnTGF-βRII mice unexpectedly developed a more severe form of cholangitis than controls (dnTGF-βRII mice) and had a significantly greater frequency of activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the liver. They also had reduced frequency of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in the hepatic CD4+ T-cell population and natural killer (NK) T cells (NK1.1+ CD3+) in hepatic inflammatory cell infiltrates. The Igμ-/-dnTGF-βRII mice had increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6) and developed a more severe form of colitis than controls. Adoptive transfer of CD8+ splenocytes from dnTGF-βRII mice and peritoneal cavity-derived, but not spleen-derived, CD19+ B cells into Rag-1-/- mice resulted in decreased amounts of liver inflammation and bile duct damage, compared with Rag-1-/- mice in which only CD8+ splenocytes were transferred. Conclusion: B cells have a suppressive effect on the inflammatory response in the dnTGF-βRII model of primary biliary cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1047
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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