CD1high B cells: a population of mixed origin

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Oct;29(10):3285-94. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199910)29:10<3285::AID-IMMU3285>3.0.CO;2-P.


A specialized subpopulation of T lymphocytes is reactive to the MHC class I-like molecule CD1d. It is not clear which cells are the major antigen-presenting cells in vivo in the activation of CD1-restricted immune responses. We have characterized a subset of B lymphocytes expressing six- to eightfold higher levels of CD1 than the bulk of B cells. The cells have a surface phenotype (CD21(high), CD23(low), IgM(high), IgD(low)) found previously to characterize B cells residing in the splenic marginal zones. CD1(high) B cells localize preferentially to the spleen, and appear late in ontogeny, at 3 - 4 weeks of age. The CD1(high) B cells were present in mice lacking conventional helper T cells, ruling out an exclusive origin from T cell-dependent immune responses. Still, some CD1(high) B cells had been involved in T cell-dependent immune responses as suggested by mutations in their rearranged immunoglobulin gene regions. The population could still be found in mice with severely reduced B cell reactivity to bacterial lipopplysaccharides (C3H / HeJ mice) and in mice unable to respond to thymus-independent type 2 antigens (NFR.Xid mice), as well as in germ-free mice, indicating that bacterial antigens are not major stimuli for the induction of CD1(high) B cells. In contrast, the CD1(high) B cell population was severely reduced in CD19-deficient mice. Taken together, the results imply that the CD1(high) population is heterogenous and of mixed origin, dependent for its development or maintenance on signaling through the CD19 molecule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD1 / analysis
  • Antigens, CD1 / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, CD1 / immunology
  • Antigens, CD19 / analysis
  • Antigens, CD19 / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • Clone Cells / immunology
  • Clone Cells / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Immunoglobulins / genetics
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Receptors, Complement 3d / analysis
  • Receptors, IgE / analysis
  • Spleen
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology


  • Antigens, CD1
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Receptors, Complement 3d
  • Receptors, IgE