Surrogate light chain expression is required to establish immunoglobulin heavy chain allelic exclusion during early B cell development

Immunity. 1996 Feb;4(2):133-44. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80678-0.


Allelic exclusion at the IgH locus was examined in B lineage cells of wild-type mice and mice unable to express the surrogate light chain molecule lambda 5 using a single-cell PCR approach. By analyzing B precursor cells containing two VHDHJH rearrangements, we found that in wild-type animals, cells are allelically excluded as soon as mu chains are expressed. Furthermore, we provide evidence that in cells expressing D mu proteins VH-->DHJH rearrangement is inhibited. In contrast, in the absence of lambda 5 protein, B precursor cells were allelically "included", indicating that allelic exclusion at the IgH locus requires expression of the pre-B cell receptor either containing a mu chain or a D mu chain. However, although mu chain double-producing B precursor cells are generated in lambda 5-deficient mice, such cells were not detected among surface immunoglobulin positive B cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains, Surrogate
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains, Surrogate
  • Membrane Glycoproteins