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Follicular (FO) and marginal zone (MZ) B cells are maintained in distinct locations within the spleen, but the genetic basis for this separation is still enigmatic. We now report that B cell sequestration requires lineage-specific regulation of migratory receptors by the transcription factor Klf2. Moreover, using gene-targeted mice we show that altered splenic B cell migration confers a significant in vivo gain-of-function phenotype to FO B cells, including the ability to quickly respond to MZ-associated antigens and pathogens in a T cell-dependent manner. This work demonstrates that in wild-type animals, naive FO B cells are actively removed from the MZ, thus restricting their capacity to respond to blood-borne pathogens.
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