Identification of a germ-line pro-B cell subset that distinguishes the fetal/neonatal from the adult B cell development pathway

Li Sheng Lu, James Tung, Nicole Baumgarth, Ometa Herman, Michael Gleimer, Leonard A. Herzenberg, Leonore A. Herzenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Studies presented here show that the expression of CD4, MHC class II (Ia,) and B220 cleanly resolves a major and a minor subset within the earliest pro-B cell population (germ-line pro-B) in adult bone marrow (BM). The major subset expresses intermediate B220 and low CD4 levels. The minor subset, which constitutes roughly 20% of the adult germ-line pro-B, expresses very low B220 levels and does not express CD4. la is clearly detectable at low levels on the major germ-line pro-B subset, both in wild-type adult mice and in gene-targeted mice (RAG2-/- and μMT), in which B cell development terminates before the pre-B cell stage. A small proportion of cells in the more mature pro-B cell subsets (Hardy Fractions B and C) also express la at this level. In contrast, la levels on the minor subset are barely above (or equal to) background. Surprisingly, the major germ-line pro-B cell subset found in adults is missing in fetal and neonatal animals. All of the germ-line pro-B in these immature animals express a phenotype (very low B220, no CD4, or la) similar to that of the minor pro-B cell subset in adult BM. Because B cell development in fetal/neonatal animals principally results in B-1 cells, these findings demonstrate that the B-1 development pathway does not include the major germ-line pro-B subset found in adult BM and hence identify a very early difference between the B-1 and -2 development pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3007-3012
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 5 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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