Cellular basis of B cell clonal populations in old mice

Joël LeMaoult, John Sanil Manavalan, Ruben Dyall, Paul Szabo, Janko Nikolic-Zugic, Marc E. Weksler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Previous studies from this laboratory have shown that >85% of old mice have stable B cell clonal populations detectable by Ig heavy chain complementary-determining region 3 mRNA size analysis and confirmed by sequence analysis. B cells from the same clone are frequently detected in several lymphoid compartments of the same mouse. We now report the phenotype of all ten stable B cell clonal populations detected in five 20-month-old C57BL/6 mice. These clonal B cells appear to develop in the periphery, and nine of the ten B cell clonal populations expressed the CD5 cell surface marker. Stable B cell expansions may be dominated by cells at two stages of differentiation. Some B cell populations were detected with DNA as well as RNA and represent large clonal populations of B cells, detectable in several lymphoid compartments. These populations are found predominantly in B cell populations expressing CD45R/B220 and the mRNA coding for the membrane-bound form of the μ Ig heavy chain, which suggests a predominance of B lymphocytes in these populations. In other cases, smaller clonal populations were detected only in splenic RNA samples. These clonal populations were found predominantly among CD45R/B220- B cells and did not express the membrane- bound form of the μ Ig heavy chain. We offer the hypothesis that the B cell clonal populations present in old mice may be precursors of the two types of B cell neoplasms which are dominated by CD5+ B cells (B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia) or plasma cells (multiple myeloma).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6384-6391
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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