Negative selection of B lymphocytes: a novel role for innate immunity

Immunol Rev. 2000 Feb:173:120-30. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-065x.2000.917312.x.


Evidence has accumulated that strongly supports a role for innate immunity in B-cell tolerance. Specific recognition proteins, such as natural antibody and collectins, are present in serum that identify highly conserved self-antigens such as nuclear proteins and activate the classical pathway of complement. The direct localization of these types of antigens to the lymphoid compartment in a complement-receptor-dependent manner provides a mechanism to deal with immature, self-reactive B cells developing daily in the bone marrow. Since it would be disadvantageous for the organism to maintain self-reactive B cells, which cross-react with microbial antigens, the innate immune system provides an efficient pathway for their removal or silencing. A possible outcome of a breakdown in this pathway, as found in individuals bearing natural deficiencies in complement C1q or C4, is autoimmunity such as systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Complement


  • Receptors, Complement