Plasma cell (PC) development is initiated following B cell activation and controlled by a B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein (Blimp)-1-dependent program involving the concerted action of several proplasma transcriptional regulators. However, the factors that control Blimp-1 expression remain largely unknown. In this context, mice deficient for all three of the Vav Family of proteins (Vavnull) develop substantial B cell populations, including marginal zone B cells, yet have a virtual absence of serum Igs, indicating that Vav may be specifically required in PC development and Ig production. We show in this study that mature marginal zone B cells from Vavnull mice proliferate following stimulation with TLR ligands but exhibit severe defects in PC differentiation and Ig secretion. Under conditions inducing PC differentiation, Vavnull B cells fail to efficiently induce Blimp-1, X box-binding protein-1, J chain, or secretory Ig μ transcripts but express IFN-regulatory factor-4 at levels similar to wild-type cells. These data indicate a previously unknown role for Vav as an upstream regulator of Blimp-1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy