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Developmental Immunology
Volume 4 (1994), Issue 1, Pages 27-41

Effects of IgM Allotype Suppression on Serum IgM Levels, B-1 and B-2 Cells, and Antibody Responses ir Allotype Heterozygous F1 Mice

1Division of Developmental and Clinical Immunology, Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA
2378 Wallace Tumor Institute, University of Alabama, Alabama 35294, USA

Received 1 November 1993; Accepted 24 November 1993

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


IgM allotype heterozygous F1 mice were independently suppressed for Igh6a or Igh6b to evaluate the contribution of B-1 and B-2 cells to natural serum IgM levels and Ab responses. B-2 B cells expressing IgM of the suppressed allotype were evident in the spleens of suppressed mice 4 to 6 weeks after cessation of the suppression regimen, whereas B-1 B cells of the suppressed allotype were undetectable for up to 9 months. Although serum IgM of the suppressed allotype was initially depleted in mice suppressed for either allotype, by 7 months of age, there were detectable levels of IgM of the suppressed allotype in the serum; however, the levels were significantly below that found in nonsuppressed mice. When mice were immunized with either the T-independent or T-dependent form of phosphorylcholine, those suppressed for either allotype, and consequently depleted of B-1 B cells of that allotype, did not respond with phosphorylcholine-specific IgM of the suppressed allotype. In contrast, when mice were immunized with α1-3 dextran, the Igh6a allotype-suppressed mice were able to produce dextran-specific IgM of that allotype. These results show that allotype-bearing B-1 cells of both allotypes can be effectively suppressed by this suppression protocol and this produces long-lasting effects on B-1 cell levels and serum IgM of the suppressed allotype. These observations reflect the derivation of the majority of B-1 cells from fetal-neonatal precursors, which cannot be replaced by newly emerging B-2 cells of adult origin. Their ablation by antibody treatment results in permanent alterations to the adult B-cell repertoire.