Although negative selection of developing B cells in the periphery is well described, yet poorly understood, evidence of naive B cell positive selection remains elusive. Using 2 humanized mouse models, we demonstrate that there was strong skewing of the expressed immunoglobulin repertoire upon transit into the peripheral naive B cell pool. This positive selection of expanded naive B cells in humanized mice resembled that observed in healthy human donors and was independent of autologous thymic tissue. In contrast, negative selection of autoreactive B cells required thymus-derived Tregs and MHC class II–restricted self-antigen presentation by B cells. Indeed, both defective MHC class II expression on B cells of patients with rare bare lymphocyte syndrome and prevention of self-antigen presentation via HLA-DM inhibition in humanized mice resulted in the production of autoreactive naive B cells. These latter observations suggest that Tregs repressed autoreactive naive B cells continuously produced by the bone marrow. Thus, a model emerged, in which both positive and negative selection shaped the human naive B cell repertoire and that each process was mediated by fundamentally different molecular and cellular mechanisms.
Jeff W. Chen, Jean-Nicolas Schickel, Nikolaos Tsakiris, Joel Sng, Florent Arbogast, Delphine Bouis, Daniele Parisi, Ruchi Gera, Joshua M. Boeckers, Fabien R. Delmotte, Margaret Veselits, Catharina Schuetz, Eva-Maria Jacobsen, Carsten Posovszky, Ansgar S. Schulz, Klaus Schwarz, Marcus R. Clark, Laurence Menard, Eric Meffre