Generation of neoantigens by citrullination is implicated in the production of anti-citrullinated protein Abs in rheumatoid arthritis, but citrullination is also a physiological process. To verify whether citrullin-specific B cells are immunologically ignorant or tolerant in normal conditions, transgenic (Tg) mice expressing IgM with the V region of an anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) mAb cloned from a rheumatoid arthritis patient were generated. CCP-specific B cells developed in the anti-CCP IgM Tg mice with an alteration of bone marrow B cell fractions, and the number of mature B cells decreased compared with wild-type or the control anti-influenza nucleoprotein-specific IgM Tg mice. In addition, B cells in anti-CCP IgM Tg mice are functionally anergic. Thus, tolerance is induced in CCP-specific B cells in vivo, suggesting that the immune systems are naturally exposed to citrullinated Ags, and anti-CCP Ab production requires additional steps beyond the generation of neoantigens by citrullination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy