CD19 expression levels regulate B lymphocyte development: human CD19 restores normal function in mice lacking endogenous CD19.
Establishing signal transduction thresholds that regulate B lymphocyte responses to foreign Ags and tolerance to self Ags is critical for humoral immune responses. The effects of altered signaling thresholds in B lymphocytes were examined in CD19-deficient mice and transgenic mice that expressed human CD19 at varying densities. Human CD19 restored normal B cell function and development to CD19-deficient mice when expressed at levels comparable to those of circulating human B cells. While CD19 expression levels were found to be developmentally regulated and tightly controlled in normal mice, two- or threefold changes in cell surface CD19 expression in transgenic mice dramatically affected B cell development, mitogen responses, serum Ig levels, humoral immune responses, and germinal center formation. B cells from mice that overexpressed CD19 also had decreased levels of surface IgM and a cell surface phenotype consistent with increased signaling in these cells. These results suggest that CD19 may serve similar functions in humans and mice and that CD19 defines signaling thresholds in vivo for the Ag receptor as well as other cell surface receptors that regulate B lymphocyte selection, activation, and differentiation.
Sato, S; Steeber, DA; Jansen, PJ; Tedder, TF
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