The double life of a B-1 cell: self-reactivity selects for protective effector functions

Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Jan;11(1):34-46. doi: 10.1038/nri2901. Epub 2010 Dec 10.


During their development, B and T cells with self-reactive antigen receptors are generally deleted from the repertoire to avoid autoimmune diseases. Paradoxically, innate-like B-1 cells in mice are positively selected for self-reactivity and form a pool of long-lived, self-renewing B cells that produce most of the circulating natural IgM antibodies. This Review provides an overview of the developmental processes that shape the B-1 cell pool in mice, outlines the functions of B-1 cells in both the steady state and during host defence, and discusses possible functional B-1 cell homologues that exist in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Self Tolerance / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin M