Current models of B lymphocyte biology posit that B cells continuously recirculate between lymphoid organs, without accumulating in peripheral healthy tissues. Nevertheless, B lymphocytes are one of the most prevalent leukocyte populations in the naive murine heart. To investigate this apparent inconsistency in the literature, we conducted a systematic analysis of myocardial B cell ontogeny, trafficking dynamics, histology, and gene expression patterns. We found that myocardial B cells represent a subpopulation of circulating B cells that make close contact with the microvascular endothelium of the heart and arrest their transit as they pass through the heart. The vast majority (>95%) of myocardial B cells remain intravascular, whereas few (<5%) myocardial B cells cross the endothelium into myocardial tissue. Analyses of mice with B cell deficiency or depletion indicated that B cells modulate the myocardial leukocyte pool composition. Analysis of B cell–deficient animals suggested that B cells modulate myocardial growth and contractility. These results transform our current understanding of B cell recirculation in the naive state and reveal a previously unknown relationship between B cells and myocardial physiology. Further work will be needed to assess the relevance of these findings to other organs.
Luigi Adamo, Cibele Rocha-Resende, Chieh-Yu Lin, Sarah Evans, Jesse Williams, Hao Dun, Wenjun Li, Cedric Mpoy, Prabhakar S. Andhey, Buck E. Rogers, Kory Lavine, Daniel Kreisel, Maxim Artyomov, Gwendalyn J. Randolph, Douglas L. Mann
Pathway analysis of genes differentially expressed between myocardial and circulating B cells