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Developmental Immunology
Volume 9 (2002), Issue 2, Pages 86-95

Differential Regulation of Mouse B Cell Development by Transforming Growth Factor β1

1Department of Microbiology, 378 Wallace Tumor Institute, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
2Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis, The National Cancer Institute, 41 Library Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Copyright © 2002 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.


Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) can inhibit the in vitro proliferation, survival and differentiation of B cell progenitors, mature B lymphocytes and plasma cells. Here we demonstrate unexpected, age-dependent reductions in the bone marrow (BM) B cell progenitors and immature B cells in TGFβ1-/- mice. To evaluate TGFβ responsiveness during normal B lineage development, cells were cultured in interleukin 7 (IL7)±TGFβ. Picomolar doses of TGFβ1 reduced pro-B cell recoveries at every timepoint. By contrast, the pre-B cells were initially reduced in number, but subsequently increased compared to IL7 alone, resulting in a 4-fold increase in the growth rate for the pre-B cell population. Analysis of purified BM sub-populations indicated that pro-B cells and the earliest BP1- pre-B cells were sensitive to the inhibitory effects of TGFβ1. However, the large BP1+ pre-B cells, although initially reduced, were increased in number at days 5 and 7 of culture. These results indicate that TGFβ1 is important for normal B cell development in vivo, and that B cell progenitors are differentially affected by the cytokine according to their stage of differentiation.