Document Type


Publication Date

March 2007


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors’ final version prior to publication in Genes and Immunity 8(7):604-12, Oct. 2007. The published version is available at Copyright © by Nature Publishing Group.


The inhibitory receptor FcγRIIb regulates B-cell functions. Genetic studies have associated Fcgr2b polymorphisms and lupus susceptibility in both humans and murine models, in which B cells express reduced FcγRIIb levels. Furthermore, FcγRIIb absence results in lupus on the appropriate genetic background, and lentiviral-mediated FcγRIIb overexpression prevents disease in the NZM2410 lupus mouse. The NZM2410/NZW allele Fcgr2b is, however, located in-between Sle1a and Sle1b, two potent susceptibility loci, making it difficult to evaluate Fcr2bNZW independent contribution. By using two congenic strains that each carries only Sle1a (B6.Sle1a(15–353)), or Fcr2bNZW in the absence of Sle1a or Sle1b (B6.Sle1(111–148)), we show that the Fcr2bNZW allele does not upregulate its expression on germinal center B cells and plasma cells, as does the C57BL/6 allele on B6.Sle1a(15–353) B cells. Furthermore, in the absence of the flanking Sle1a and Sle1b, Fcr2bNZW does not produce an autoimmune phenotype, but is associated with an increased number of class-switched plasma cells. These results show that while a lower level of FcγRIIb does not by itself induce the development of autoreactive B cells, it has the potential to amplify the contribution of autoreactive B cells induced by other lupus-susceptibility loci by enhancing the production of class-switched plasma cells.