Characterization of human FCRL4-positive B cells
by Michel Jourdan, Nicolas Robert, Maïlys Cren, Coraline Thibaut, Christophe Duperray, Alboukadel Kassambara, Michel Cogné, Karin Tarte, Bernard Klein, Jérôme MoreauxFCRL4 is an immunoregulatory receptor that belongs to the Fc receptor-like (FCRL) family. In healthy individuals, FCRL4 is specifically expressed by memory B cells (MBCs) localized in sub-epithelial regions of lymphoid tissues. Expansion of FCRL4+ B cells has been observed in blood and other tissues in various infectious and autoimmune disorders. Currently, the mechanisms involved in pathological FCRL4+ B cell generation are actively studied, but they remain elusive. As in vivo FCRL4+ cells are difficult to access and to isolate, here we developed a culture system to generate in vitro FCRL4+ B cells from purified MBCs upon stimulation with soluble CD40 ligand and/or CpG DNA to mimic T-cell dependent and/or T-cell independent activation, respectively. After 4 days of stimulation, FCRL4+ B cells represented 17% of all generated cells. Transcriptomic and phenotypic analyses of in vitro generated FCRL4+ cells demonstrated that they were closely related to FCRL4+ tonsillar MBCs. They strongly expressed inhibitory receptor genes, as observed in exhausted FCRL4+ MBCs from blood samples of HIV-infected individuals with high viremia. In agreement, cell cycle genes were significantly downregulated and the number of cell divisions was two-fold lower in in vitro generated FCRL4+ than FCRL4- cells. Finally, due to their reduced proliferation and differentiation potential, FCRL4+ cells were less prone to differentiate into plasma cells, differently from FCRL4- cells. Our in vitro model could be of major interest for studying the biology of normal and pathological FCRL4+ cells.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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