Clonal deletion of B lymphocytes in a transgenic mouse bearing anti-MHC class I antibody genes

Nature. 1989 Feb 9;337(6207):562-6. doi: 10.1038/337562a0.


B lymphocytes can be rendered specifically unresponsive to antigen by experimental manipulation in vivo and in vitro, but it remains unclear whether or not natural tolerance involves B-cell tolerance because B cells are controlled by T lymphocytes, and in their absence respond poorly to antigen (reviewed in ref. 7). In addition, autoantibody-producing cells can be found in normal mice and their formation is enhanced by B-cell mitogens such as lipopolysaccharides. We have studied B-cell tolerance in transgenic mice using genes for IgM anti-H-2k MHC class I antibody. In H-2d transgenic mice about 25-50% of the splenic B cells bear membrane immunoglobulin of this specificity, and abundant serum IgM encoded by the transgenes is produced. In contrast, H-2k x H-2d (H-2-d/k) transgenic mice lack B cells bearing the anti-H-2k idiotype and contain no detectable serum anti-H-2k antibody, suggesting that very large numbers of autospecific B cells can be controlled by clonal deletion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antilymphocyte Serum / genetics*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Clone Cells / immunology
  • Clone Cells / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Female
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin*
  • H-2 Antigens / genetics
  • H-2 Antigens / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / genetics
  • Immunologic Capping
  • Lymphocyte Depletion* / methods
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic


  • Antilymphocyte Serum
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes