Immunoglobulins exist in several forms, or isotypes, that carry out distinct effector functions. During an antibody response, B cells can switch their immunoglobulin isotype through the process of class-switch recombination (CSR). CSR to IgD is a rare event compared with CSR to other isotypes, and its regulation is poorly understood. Here we report that mice lacking the DNA damage-response protein 53BP1 display a hyper-IgD syndrome despite deficiencies of other immunoglobulin classes. By studying these mice, we discovered that CSR to IgD in 53BP1 mutant mice and in wild-type mice depends on an intact microbiome and Toll-like receptor signaling, and is anatomically confined to B cells of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues.
Class-switch recombination (CSR) alters the Ig isotype to diversify antibody effector functions. IgD CSR is a rare event, and its regulation is poorly understood. We report that deficiency of 53BP1, a DNA damage-response protein, caused age-dependent overproduction of secreted IgD resulting from increased IgD CSR exclusively within B cells of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues. IgD overproduction was dependent on activation-induced cytidine deaminase, hematopoietic MyD88 expression, and an intact microbiome, against which circulating IgD, but not IgM, was reactive. IgD CSR occurred via both alternative nonhomologous end-joining and homologous recombination pathways. Microbiota-dependent IgD CSR also was detected in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue of WT mice. These results identify a pathway, present in WT mice and hyperactivated in 53BP1-deficient mice, by which microbiota signal via Toll-like receptors to elicit IgD CSR.
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