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This article is the author's final published version in Nature Communications, Volume 15, Issue 1, 2024, Article number 324.

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IL-10+ B cells are critical for immune homeostasis and restraining immune responses in infection, cancer, and inflammation; however, the signals that govern IL-10+ B cell differentiation are ill-defined. Here we find that IL-10+ B cells expand in mice lacking secreted IgM ((s)IgM–/–) up to 10-fold relative to wildtype (WT) among all major B cell and regulatory B cell subsets. The IL-10+ B cell increase is polyclonal and presents within 24 hours of birth. In WT mice, sIgM is produced prenatally and limits the expansion of IL-10+ B cells. Lack of the high affinity receptor for sIgM, FcμR, in B cells translates into an intermediate IL-10+ B cell phenotype relative to WT or sIgM–/– mice. Our study thus shows that sIgM regulates IL-10 programming in B cells in part via B cell-expressed FcμR, thereby revealing a function of sIgM in regulating immune homeostasis.

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