Inflammation Research

, Volume 54, Issue 12, pp 514–521 | Cite as

Deficiency of regulatory B cells increases allergic airway inflammation

  • S. K. Lundy
  • A. A. Berlin
  • T. F. Martens
  • N. W. LukacsEmail author
Original Research Paper


Objective: To investigate the effect of the X-linked immunodeficiency (Xid) B cell defect on the response to the cockroach allergen in mice.

Methods: Two cockroach allergen immunization and challenge protocols were employed to sensitize CBA/J wild-type and CBA/CaHN-btk(-/-)xid/J (Xid) mice. Blood and tissue samples were collected 24 and 48 hrs after the last intratracheal antigen challenge and were analyzed for several parameters of allergic inflammation.

Results: Nearly equivalent amounts of serum IgE were detected in Xid and CBA/J mice after short-term antigen challenge despite the B cell deficiency in Xid mice. A decreased concentration of IgE was detected in CBA/J mice after repeated allergen challenges but not in the Xid mice. Correlating with the discrepancy in serum IgE levels, higher levels of IL-13, IL-5, IL-10 and CCL5 were measured in whole lung homogenates from allergen-challenged Xid mice compared to CBA/J mice. In addition, draining lymph node cells from Xid mice expressed elevated levels of IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IFNγ mRNA compared to cells from CBA/J mice after in vitro culture with cockroach antigen. An increase in lung inflammation, interstitial eosinophilia and mucus production was also observed in allergen-challenged Xid mice. CD95L expression increased on B-1a cells following allergen challenge, which was accompanied by an increase in lung CD4+ Th cell apoptosis in wild-type CBA/J mice. In contrast, Xid mice did not have an increase in CD4+ T cell apoptosis following allergen challenge.

Conclusions: These data suggest a regulatory role for B-1a cells in reducing cytokine production, pulmonary inflammation, and CD4+ T cell survival during cockroach allergen-induced airway inflammation.

Key words.

Allergy B cells T cells Inflammation Apoptosis 



cockroach antigen

B-1a cells

CD5+ B cells


X-linked immunodeficiency


CD95 ligand or Fas ligand

Btk -/-

Bruton’s tyrosine kinase deficient


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Lundy
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. A. Berlin
    • 2
  • T. F. Martens
    • 2
  • N. W. Lukacs
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine-RheumatologyUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

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