B-1 cells: the lineage question revisited

Immunol Rev. 2000 Jun;175:9-22.


The origins and functions of B-1 cells have sparked a good deal of controversy, largely centered on whether these B cells are developmentally distinct from the principal B cell populations (B-2) found in peripheral lymphoid organs. However, the prime criteria for assigning B-1 and B-2 cells to separate developmental lineages are satisfied by studies published some time ago that 1) identify distinct sources of progenitors for B-1 and B-2 cells; 2) show that these progenitors express their inherent commitment developing under the same conditions in co-transfer recipients; and, 3) have distinctive developmental patterns revealed by analysis of cells at various stages along the B-cell development pathway. I review these developmental studies here both to clarify the issue and to set the stage for presentation of evidence from more recent studies, which further define the functional differences between B-1 and B-2 cells and reveal intriguing complexities in the selective and other mechanisms that control the V(H) composition of the B-1 antibody repertoire.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Diversity
  • Antibody Formation
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / enzymology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Biological Evolution
  • CD5 Antigens / immunology*
  • Cell Lineage*
  • DNA Nucleotidylexotransferase / metabolism
  • Feedback
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Cooperation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Phosphorylcholine / immunology
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Stem Cells / immunology


  • CD5 Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Phosphorylcholine
  • DNA Nucleotidylexotransferase