Selective preservation of bone marrow mature recirculating but not marginal zone B cells in murine models of chronic inflammation

Elisabetta Traggiai, Anna Casati, Michela Frascoli, Simona Porcellini, Maurilio Ponzoni, Francesca Sanvito, Lin Leng, Richard Bucala, Lorenzo Moretta, Fabio Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammation promotes granulopoiesis over B lymphopoiesis in the bone marrow (BM). We studied B cell homeostasis in two murine models of T cell mediated chronic inflammation, namely calreticulin-deficient fetal liver chimeras (FLC), which develop severe blepharitis and alopecia due to T cell hyper responsiveness, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) caused by injection of CD4+ naïve T cells into lymphopenic mice. We show herein that despite the severe depletion of B cell progenitors during chronic, peripheral T cell-mediated inflammation, the population of BM mature recirculating B cells is unaffected. These B cells are poised to differentiate to plasma cells in response to blood borne pathogens, in an analogous fashion to non-recirculating marginal zone (MZ) B cells in the spleen. MZ B cells nevertheless differentiate more efficiently to plasma cells upon polyclonal stimulation by Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands, and are depleted during chronic T cell mediated inflammation in vivo. The preservation of mature B cells in the BM is associated with increased concentration of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in serum and BM plasma. MIF produced by perivascular dendritic cells (DC) in the BM provides a crucial survival signal for recirculating B cells, and mice treated with a MIF inhibitor during inflammation showed significantly reduced mature B cells in the BM. These data indicate that MIF secretion by perivascular DC may promote the survival of the recirculating B cell pool to ensure responsiveness to blood borne microbes despite loss of the MZ B cell pool that accompanies depressed lymphopoiesis during inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11262
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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