Early B-cell precursors in scid mice: normal numbers of cells transformable with Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV)

Cell Immunol. 1988 Apr 15;113(1):192-201. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(88)90017-2.


scid mice lack detectable B and T lymphocytes; there are no typical pre-B cells as defined by c mu and surface markers in their bone marrow and their thymus contains only 1% of the normal number of cells. In these characters scid mice seem to lack lymphoid stem cells. However, some mice have detectable serum immunoglobulin and others develop thymomas; both observations indicate that the block in lymphoid development is not absolute. To determine whether scid mice have any B-cell precursors, we looked for pre-B cells by their ability to be transformed by Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV). Surprisingly, scid mice contain as many B-cell precursors transformable with A-MuLV as normal control mice. Cell-surface markers specific for pre-B and B cells were detected on the A-MuLV-transformed bone marrow cells of both scid and normal mice, indicating that the A-MuLV-transformed cells belong to the B lineage. Interestingly, the same surface markers were undetectable on nontransformed scid bone marrow cells. We conclude from these results that scid mice have normal numbers of early B-cell precursors but that their differentiation into functional B cells is severely impaired.

MeSH terms

  • Abelson murine leukemia virus*
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Transformation, Viral*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / genetics
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / pathology
  • Leukemia Virus, Murine*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Mutant Strains / immunology*