Mice deficient in invariant-chain and MHC class II exhibit a normal mature B2 cell compartment

Eur J Immunol. 2004 Aug;34(8):2230-6. doi: 10.1002/eji.200425246.


The role of the invariant chain (Ii), an MHC class II-associated chaperone, in B cell development is controversial. Ii deficient mice (Ii(-/-) mice) show a defect in B cell development. This defect has been attributed to the absence of a fragment liberated from the Ii by intramembranous proteolysis. It was proposed that this fragment is required for activation of the NF-kappaB pathway as a means of controlling B cell maturation. The opposing view holds that defects in the assembly of MHC class II molecules result in impaired B cell development. Here we demonstrate that a lack of Ii indeed causes defects in B cell development, with fewer mature B cells in the periphery as previously reported, but that in a compound-mutant from which both Ii and all MHC class II subunits are absent, B cell development is normal. We suggest that neither Ii itself, nor the MHC class II products are required for normal B cell development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / genetics*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Biomarkers
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • invariant chain