As part of an evolutionary layered hematopoietic system, the B lymphocyte compartment consists of different lineages of B lymphocytes, which evolve sequentially during ontogeny. In mice, there is ample evidence for the existence of at least two lineages, a layer of B-1 cells (Ly-1 B cells) and the evolutionary more advanced layer consisting of conventional B cells. In a previous study we were unable to detect B-1 cells in the rat as determined by phenotypic markers. Here we studied the possible existence of putative B-1 cells in the rat based on some functional and developmental characteristics as have been described for mouse B-1 cells. We show that B cells secreting antibodies that recognize bromelain-treated mouse red blood cells (BrMRBC) can be identified in rat spleen, whereas these cells (in contrast to DNP-specific B cells) are virtually absent in lethally X-irradiated and bone marrow (BM) reconstituted animals. The number of anti-rMRBC-secreting B cells could not be restored to control levels by reconstitution with fetal liver cells or by cotransfer of 107 cells from peritoneal cavity, lymph node or Peyer's patches or up to 2x10(8) splenocytes. Although our findings thus suggest that B-1 cells (or B-1 like cells) may be present in rats, formal proof for the existence of such a lineage in rats awaits definition of these cells at the progenitor level.
- PHOSPHATIDYL CHOLINE
- VH GENE