Long-term maternal imprinting of the specific B cell repertoire by maternal antibodies

Fink, Katja; Zellweger, Raphael; Weber, Jacqueline; Manjarrez-Orduno, Nataly; Holdener, Martin; Senn, Beatrice M; Hengartner, Hans; Zinkernagel, Rolf M; Macpherson, Andrew J (2008). Long-term maternal imprinting of the specific B cell repertoire by maternal antibodies. European journal of immunology, 38(1), pp. 90-101. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH 10.1002/eji.200737872

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Maternal antibodies protect newborns whilst they are immunologically immature. This study shows that maternal antibodies can also shape the B cell repertoire of the offspring long after the maternal antibodies themselves become undetectable. V(H)DJ(H) gene-targeted (VI10) mice expressing a heavy chain specific for vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) produce a 20-fold increased spontaneous titer of VSV-neutralizing antibodies. When transferred from mother to offspring, these antibodies prevented accumulation of Ag-specific transitional type 2 and marginal zone B cells with an activated phenotype and favored selection to the B cell follicles. This effect was B cell-intrinsic and lasted up to adulthood. The pups nursed by mothers producing specific antibodies developed higher endogenous antibody titers of this specificity which perpetuated the effects of specific B cell selection into the mature follicular compartment, presumably by blocking auto-Ag-dependent development of transitional type 2 B cells in the spleen. This repertoire change was functional, as following infection of adult mice with VSV, those pups that had received specific maternal antibodies as neonates had increased pre-immune titers and mounted strong early IgG neutralizing antibodies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine > Gastroenterology

UniBE Contributor:

Macpherson, Andrew










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:05

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:54

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Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/28392 (FactScience: 120512)

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