B-1b Cells Have Unique Functional Traits Compared to B-1a Cells at Homeostasis and in Aged Hyperlipidemic Mice With Atherosclerosis

Front Immunol. 2022 Jul 22;13:909475. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.909475. eCollection 2022.


Immunoglobulin M (IgM) to oxidation specific epitopes (OSE) are inversely associated with atherosclerosis in mice and humans. The B-1b subtype of B-1 cells secrete IgM to OSE, and unlike B-1a cells, are capable of long-lasting IgM memory. What attributes make B-1b cells different than B-1a cells is unknown. Our objectives were to determine how B-1b cells produce more IgM compared to B-1a cells at homeostatic condition and to see the differences in the B-1a and B-1b cell distribution and IgM CDR-H3 sequences in mice with advanced atherosclerosis. Here, in-vivo studies demonstrated greater migration to spleen, splenic production of IgM and plasma IgM levels in ApoE-/-Rag1-/- mice intraperitoneally injected with equal numbers of B-1b compared to B-1a cells. Bulk RNA seq analysis and flow cytometry of B-1a and B-1b cells identified CCR6 as a chemokine receptor more highly expressed on B-1b cells compared to B-1a. Knockout of CCR6 resulted in reduced B-1b cell migration to the spleen. Moreover, B-1b cell numbers were significantly higher in spleen of aged atherosclerotic ApoE-/- mice compared to young ApoE-/- mice. Single cell sequencing results of IgHM in B-1a and B-1b cells from peritoneal cavity and spleen of atherosclerotic aged ApoE-/- mice revealed significantly more N additions at the V-D and D-J junctions, greater diversity in V region usage and CDR-H3 sequences in B-1b compared to B-1a cells. In summary, B-1b cells demonstrated enhanced CCR6-mediated splenic migration, IgM production, and IgM repertoire diversification compared to B-1a cells. These findings suggest that potential strategies to selectively augment B-1b cell numbers and splenic trafficking could lead to increased and more diverse IgM targeting OSE to limit atherosclerosis.

Keywords: B-1 cells; CCR6; IgHV sequencing; IgM antibodies; aging; atherosclerosis; inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Atherosclerosis* / genetics
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Immunoglobulin M