miRNA profiling of B-cell subsets: specific miRNA profile for germinal center B cells with variation between centroblasts and centrocytes

Lu Ping Tan, Miao Wang, Jan-Lukas Robertus, Rikst Nynke Schakel, Johan H. Gibcus, Arjan Diepstra, Geert Harms, Suat-Cheng Peh, Rogier M. Reijmers, Steven T. Pals, Bart-Jan Kroesen, Philip M. Kluin, Sibrand Poppema, Anke van den Berg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs ( miRNAs) are an important class of small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. It has become evident that miRNAs are involved in hematopoiesis, and that deregulation of miRNAs may give rise to hematopoietic malignancies. The aim of our study was to establish miRNA profiles of naive, germinal center ( GC) and memory B cells, and validate their expression patterns in normal lymphoid tissues. Quantitative (q) RT-PCR profiling revealed that several miRNAs were elevated in GC B cells, including miR-17-5p, miR-106a and miR-181b. One of the most abundant miRNAs in all three B-cell subsets analyzed was miR-150, with a more than 10-fold lower level in GC B cell as compared with the other two subsets. miRNA in situ hybridization ( ISH) in tonsil tissue sections confirmed the findings from the profiling work. Interestingly, gradual decrease of miR-17-5p, miR-106a and miR-181b staining intensity from the dark to the light zone was observed in GC. A strong cytoplasmic staining of miR-150 was observed in a minority of the centroblasts in the dark zone of the GC. Inverse staining pattern of miR-150 against c-Myb and Survivin was observed in tonsil tissue sections, suggesting possible targeting of these genes by miR-150. In line with this, the experimental induction of miR-150 lead to reduced c-Myb, Survivin and Foxp1 expression levels in the Burkitt's lymphoma cell line, DG75. In conclusion, miRNA profiles of naive, GC and memory B cells were established and validated by miRNA ISH. Within the GC cells, a marked difference was observed between the light and the dark zone. Laboratory Investigation (2009) 89, 708-716; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2009.26; published online 6 April 2009

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-716
Number of pages9
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2009


  • germinal center
  • germinal center B cells
  • miRNA
  • miRNA in situ hybridization
  • C-MYB

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