Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Positive and negative signals from self-Ags shape the B cell repertoire and the development of distinct B cell subsets, but little is known about what distinguishes these signals. To address this question, we have studied the development of anti-hen egg lysozyme MD4 Ig transgene B cells while systematically varying the level, distribution, and timing of exposure to different forms of hen egg lysozyme as a self-Ag. This process has allowed us to explore the effects of Ag independent of BCR specificity. Our findings show how the selection of autoreactive B cells is a competitive process involving immunogenic and tolerogenic forms of self-Ags. Due to a developmental switch during B cell ontogeny, autoreactive anti-hen egg lysozyme MD4 Ig transgene B cells are negatively selected by self-Ags in adult bone marrow but susceptible to positive selection by some of the same self-Ags in fetal and neonatal life. However, the persistence of B1 cells and IgM autoantibodies from early ontogeny enables autoreactive B cells from the adult bone marrow to escape negative selection. Our data suggest that this rescue may be due to the clearance or masking of self-Ag by IgM autoantibody. We discuss the implications of these findings in terms of B cell selection and the maintenance of self-tolerance during early and adult life.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





7402 - 7411


Aging, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Antigen Presentation, Ascitic Fluid, Autoantibodies, Autoantigens, B-Lymphocyte Subsets, Cell Differentiation, Clonal Deletion, Fetus, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Muramidase, Radiation Chimera, Self Tolerance, Signal Transduction, Spleen