Responsiveness of B cells is regulated by the hinge region of IgD

Nat Immunol. 2015 May;16(5):534-43. doi: 10.1038/ni.3141. Epub 2015 Apr 6.


Mature B cells express immunoglobulin M (IgM)- and IgD-isotype B cell antigen receptors, but the importance of IgD for B cell function has been unclear. By using a cellular in vitro system and corresponding mouse models, we found that antigens with low valence activated IgM receptors but failed to trigger IgD signaling, whereas polyvalent antigens activated both receptor types. Investigations of the molecular mechanism showed that deletion of the IgD-specific hinge region rendered IgD responsive to monovalent antigen, whereas transferring the hinge to IgM resulted in responsiveness only to polyvalent antigen. Our data suggest that the increased IgD/IgM ratio on conventional B-2 cells is important for preferential immune responses to antigens in immune complexes, and that the increased IgM expression on B-1 cells is essential for B-1 cell homeostasis and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / immunology
  • Antigens / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Binding Sites, Antibody / immunology
  • Calcium Signaling / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Hinge Exons / genetics
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Immunity, Humoral / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin D / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin D / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin M / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Protein Engineering
  • Sequence Deletion / genetics


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin D
  • Immunoglobulin M