Products of recombination activating genes (RAG-1 and RAG-2) involved in the rearrangement of Ig genes have been shown to be expressed only in immature stages of B cells. However, we have recently found that RAG genes were reexpressed in mature mouse B cells activated in vitro and in germinal centers (GCs) of immunized mouse lymph nodes (LNs). Here, we report that RAG transcripts and their proteins were expressed in parallel with the formation of GCs in popliteal LNs from mice immunized in the hind footpads. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that RAG+ B cells were localized within GCs and were present as apoptotic tingible body cells. RAG expression is not considered a nonspecific result of apoptosis, since apoptotic B cells generated by surface Ig-engagement did not express RAG genes. These results suggest a novel role of RAG products in the differentiation of B cells in GCs.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1997 Mar 15|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy