To distinguish whether BMPs inhibited differentiation or if the reduced percentages of plasmablasts mainly were a result of reduced proliferation, naive and memory B cells were labeled with CFSE prior to culturing in the presence of CD40L/IL-21 with or without various BMPs.
This experimental design made it possible to follow differentiation per cell division. Of learn more the memory B cells that had divided four times or more, only 6.5% of the BMP-6-treated cells compared with 21% of the BMP-7 treated cells had differentiated to CD38+ cells (Fig. 3C). This shows that BMP-6, more potently than BMP-7, inhibits plasma cell differentiation. These findings were further confirmed by division slicing 37 and subsequent calculations of percentage of cells in each cell division that had differentiated to CD27+CD38+ plasmablasts. Saracatinib in vitro This approach identified BMP-6 as the most potent suppressor of CD40L/IL-21-induced plasma cell differentiation, whereas BMP-2 and -4 had intermediate suppressive effects and BMP-7 had limited effects (Fig. 3D). CFSE tracking of cell division further
showed that the BMPs inhibited cell cycle progression as the percentage of cells that had divided four times or more was reduced in the BMP-treated cells (Fig. 3C and not shown). Taken together, the data shown suggest that BMP-6 inhibits Ig production mainly by inhibiting plasma cell differentiation, but also via suppression of proliferation. To further investigate plasma cell differentiation, we sorted memory B cells by FACS and cultured them
with CD40L/IL-21 in the presence or absence of BMP-6 and BMP-7 for 5 days and then analyzed the acquisition of the Meloxicam plasma cell markers IRF-4, CD138 and XBP-1 by immunocytochemistry. Freshly purified memory B cells had no or low expression of IRF-4 and no detectable level of XBP-1 (Fig. 4). After 5 days of culture in the presence of CD40L/IL-21, 84% of cells expressed IRF-4 and 50% of them co-expressed XBP-1 (Fig. 4 and Supporting Information Fig. 4). CD138 was not detected (not shown), indicating that the differentiated cells were plasmablasts, and not fully mature plasma cells. In contrast, fewer cells were present when they had been cultured in the presence of BMP-6 or BMP-7 (compare Hoechst staining across the different culture conditions), and 44 and 36% of them expressed IRF-4 in the presence of BMP-6 and BMP-7 respectively. These data further support the finding that BMP-6 and BMP-7 block CD40L/IL-21-induced differentiation to plasmablasts (Fig. 4). We have previously shown that BMP receptors can be detected by flow cytometry 38. To characterize BMP receptor expression in naive and memory B cells, CD19+ cells from peripheral blood were stained with anti-BMP receptor Abs combined with detection of CD27 and CD20.