Migration of immature and mature B cells in the aged microenvironment

Immunology. 2010 Feb;129(2):278-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2009.03182.x. Epub 2009 Oct 21.


Studies in aged mice show that the architecture of B-cell areas appears disrupted and that newly made B cells fail to incorporate into the spleen. These observations may reflect altered migration of immature and mature B cells. Using adoptive transfer, we tested the effect of the aged microenvironment and the intrinsic ability of donor B cells from aged mice to migrate to spleens of intact hosts. Spleens of aged recipients were deficient in attracting young or old donor immature B cells. In contrast, immature and mature B cells maintained an intrinsic ability to migrate to young recipient spleens, except that as the aged immature B cells matured, fewer appeared to enter the recirculating pool. CXCL13 protein, which is necessary for the organization of B-cell compartments, was elevated with age and differences in CXCL13 distribution were apparent. In aged spleens, CXCL13 appeared less reticular, concentrated in patches throughout the follicles, and notably reduced in the MAdCAM-1(+) marginal reticular cells located at the follicular edge. Despite these differences, the migration of young donor follicular B cells into the spleens of old mice was not impacted; whereas, migration of young donor marginal zone B cells was reduced in aged recipients. Finally, the aged bone marrow microenvironment attracted more donor mature B cells than did the young marrow. Message for CXCL13 was not elevated in the marrow of aged mice. These results suggest that the aged splenic microenvironment affects the migration of immature B cells more than mature follicular B cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Aging / immunology*
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / pathology
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Chemokine CXCL13 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL13 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / immunology
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / metabolism*
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / pathology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / metabolism*
  • Spleen / pathology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Chemokine CXCL13
  • Madcam1 protein, mouse