Reduced T-dependent humoral immunity in CD20-deficient mice

J Immunol. 2013 Sep 15;191(6):3112-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202098. Epub 2013 Aug 21.


CD20 is a tetraspanning membrane protein expressed on B lymphocytes. CD20 deficiency in both mice and humans has recently been shown to have deleterious effects on Ab responses to T-independent Ags; however, no effect on T-dependent immunity has been reported. In this study, we used a Cd20⁻/⁻ mouse line to evaluate Ab responses to adeno-associated virus and SRBCs. The neutralizing Ab response to adeno-associated virus was significantly reduced by CD20 deficiency; both primary (IgM) and secondary (IgG1 and IgG2b) responses to SRBC were also reduced in Cd20⁻/⁻ mice, and this was associated with a reduction in the number of germinal center B cells. A successful humoral response requires the integration of intracellular signaling networks that critically rely on calcium mobilization. In this article, we confirm that BCR-mediated calcium mobilization is reduced in Cd20⁻/⁻ murine B cells after BCR stimulation in vitro, and further show that the reduction is due to an effect on calcium influx rather than calcium release from intracellular stores. Calcium-dependent upregulation of CD69 was impaired in CD20-deficient B cells, as was upregulation of CD86. Altogether, this study demonstrates a role for CD20 in B cell activation and T-dependent humoral immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD20 / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunity, Humoral / immunology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD20