Differential regulation of germinal center genes, BCL6 and SWAP-70, during the course of MAIDS

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • C F Qi - , National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Author)
  • R Jessberger - , Institute of Physiological Chemistry (Author)
  • T A Torrey - (Author)
  • L Taddesse-Heath - (Author)
  • Y Ohta - (Author)
  • H C Morse - (Author)


Germinal centers (GC) are the sites of antigen-driven B cell switch recombination, V(D)J gene hypermutation, and selection to generate high-afinity CD38+ memory B cells. A marked expansion of GC associated with hypergammaglobulinemia followed by complete disruption of normal splenic architecture and a striking drop in immunoglobulin levels are prominent features of the murine retrovirus-induced immunodeficiency syndrome, MAIDS. B cell lymphomas are frequent in long-term infected mice. Normal GC formation is critically dependent on a number of genes including the transcription factor, Bcl6. Deregulated expression of BCL6 protein has been implicated in the development of human and mouse B cell lymphomas. Another nuclear protein, SWAP-70, has been identified as a subunit of the protein complex, SWAP, that recombines switch regions in vitro. To develop a fuller understanding of B cell biology in MAIDS, we examined the characteristics of BCL6, SWAP-70, CD38, and peanut agglutinin (PNA)-staining cells during the course of the disease. The levels of both nuclear proteins increased rapidly until 6-8 weeks after infection. During this time frame, BCL6 was expressed at highest levels in the usually rare CD4+ Thyl- T cell subset as well as in B cells. At later times. BCL6 levels dropped to undetectable levels while SWAP-70 levels continued to increase. Changes in the levels of either protein could not be ascribed to transcriptional regulation. PNA-reactive cells decreased in concert with BCL6 while CD38 staining increased with SWAP-70. These results demonstrate that progression of MAIDS results in the massive accumulation of B cells with the morphology of secretory cells that behave like post-GC cells for expression of BCL6 and CD38, and for PNA-staining but with abnormally high-level expression of SWAP-70.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-53
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular immunology
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - 1999

External IDs

Scopus 0033389718


Sustainable Development Goals


  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase, ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1, Animals, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation/genetics, B-Lymphocytes/immunology, Base Sequence, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology, Cell Line, DNA Primers/genetics, DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, Switch, Germinal Center/immunology, Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors, Humans, Membrane Glycoproteins, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Minor Histocompatibility Antigens, Murine Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/genetics, NAD+ Nucleosidase/genetics, Nuclear Proteins/genetics, Proto-Oncogene Proteins/genetics, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6, Recombination, Genetic, Transcription Factors/genetics