Generation of long-lived B cells in germ-free mice

Eur J Immunol. 1991 Jul;21(7):1779-82. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830210732.


In the present study we have addressed the question of whether the composition of the peripheral B cell pool is similar in mice raised under conventional, specific pathogen-free or germ-free breeding conditions. For this purpose, the representation of various B lineage subsets was quantitated by flow cytometry and the lifespan of B cells analyzed by labeling dividing cells with the thymidine analogue 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine in vivo. The results indicate that except for an increased fraction of CD45R (B220)dull B lineage cells in the bone marrow and a marginally faster turnover of splenic B cells in germ-free compared to conventional mice, there is no obvious difference in the representation and turnover of B cells in the different kinds of mice. The data indicate that a stable pool of peripheral B cells is generated even in the absence of microbial stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / analysis
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / physiology
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Cell Survival
  • Germ-Free Life / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / analysis
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens