Joining chain-expressing and -nonexpressing B cell populations in the mouse

J Exp Med. 2001 Sep 3;194(5):557-70. doi: 10.1084/jem.194.5.557.


The diphtheria toxin A chain (DTA) was gene targeted into the Joining chain (J chain) locus to create a mouse strain selecting against J chain-expressing cells, JDTA mice. Serum immunoglobulin (Ig)M and serum IgG were reduced six to eightfold, while serum IgA was elevated 14-fold in these mice. JDTA mice were immune competent although the serum Ig response compared with wild-type mice was reduced sixfold at day 14 but only fourfold at day 45 after immunization. Exchanging the DTA gene with a cDNA for c-myc resulted in mice with a distinct phenotype with increased Ig production and enhanced humoral immune responses. Analysis of single B cells stimulated by lipopolysaccharide in vitro using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that J chain-nonexpressing B cells could be detected that had a secretory phenotype as determined by an abundance of transcript for secretory IgM. Finally, limiting dilution analysis of peripheral B cells showed that J chain expression was a clonal property already established in naive, peripheral B lymphocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diphtheria Toxin / genetics
  • Diphtheria Toxin / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exons
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / blood
  • Immunoglobulin Joining Region / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Joining Region / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transfection


  • Diphtheria Toxin
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Immunoglobulin Joining Region
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • diphtheria toxin fragment A