• Antibodies;
  • B cells;
  • Cell differentiation;
  • Rodent


B-1 and B-2 cells are lymphocyte populations that differ in development, surface marker expression, tissue localization, and function. Though mainly found in the spleen, lymph nodes, and circulation of mice, small numbers of B-2 cells are found in the peritoneal cavity, a site predominantly populated by B-1 cells. Here, we characterized peritoneal B-2 cells, and determined their relationship to B-1 cells. We found that peritoneal B-2 cells appear to be intermediate between splenic B-2 and peritoneal B-1 cells in terms of surface marker expression of B220, CD80, and CD43, expression of several marker genes, and in vitro viability and IgM secretion. Adoptive transfer of peritoneal B-2 cells into severe combined immunodeficiency mice resulted in the acquisition of a phenotype reminiscent of B-1b cells, as shown by up-regulation of Mac-1 and CD43, and down-regulation of CD23. Moreover, adoptively transferred peritoneal B-2 cells recapitulated B-1 cell function by producing natural IgM in recipient mice. These data suggest that peritoneal B-2 cells express some characteristics of B-1b cells and that this similarity increases with additional time in the peritoneal cavity.