A novel Rac-dependent checkpoint in B cell development controls entry into the splenic white pulp and cell survival


Rac1 and Rac2 GTPases transduce signals from multiple receptors leading to cell migration, adhesion, proliferation, and survival. In the absence of Rac1 and Rac2, B cell development is arrested at an IgD- transitional B cell stage that we term transitional type 0 (T0). We show that T0 cells cannot enter the white pulp of the spleen until they mature into the T1 and T2 stages, and that this entry into the white pulp requires integrin and chemokine receptor signaling and is required for cell survival. In the absence of Rac1 and Rac2, transitional B cells are unable to migrate in response to chemokines and cannot enter the splenic white pulp. We propose that loss of Rac1 and Rac2 causes arrest at the T0 stage at least in part because transitional B cells need to migrate into the white pulp to receive survival signals. Finally, we show that in the absence of Syk, a kinase that transduces B cell antigen receptor signals required for positive selection, development is arrested at the same T0 stage, with transitional B cells excluded from the white pulp. Thus, these studies identify a novel developmental checkpoint that coincides with B cell positive selection.

Journal details

Volume 207
Issue number 4
Pages 837-853
Publication date