Ann Lab Med.  2020 Jan;40(1):48-56. 10.3343/alm.2020.40.1.48.

Human B1 Cells are the Main Blood Group A-Specific B Cells That Have a Moderate Correlation With Anti-A Antibody Titer

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Yanbian University College of Medicine, Yanji, Jilin, People's Republic of China.
  • 2Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Transplantation Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Anti-carbohydrate antibody responses, including those of anti-blood group ABO antibodies, are yet to be thoroughly studied in humans. Because anti-ABO antibody-mediated rejection is a key hurdle in ABO-incompatible transplantation, it is important to understand the cellular mechanism of anti-ABO responses. We aimed to identify the main human B cell subsets that produce anti-ABO antibodies by analyzing the correlation between B cell subsets and anti-ABO antibody titers.
Blood group A-binding B cells were analyzed in peritoneal fluid and peripheral blood samples from 43 patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis and 18 healthy volunteers with blood group B or O. The correlation between each blood group A-specific B cell subset and anti-A antibody titer was then analyzed using Pearson's correlation analysis.
Blood group A-binding B cells were enriched in CD27⁺CD43⁺CD1c− B1, CD5⁺ B1, CD11b⁺ B1, and CD27⁺CD43⁺CD1c+ marginal zone-B1 cells in peripheral blood. Blood group A-specific B1 cells (P=0.029 and R=0.356 for IgM; P=0.049 and R=0.325 for IgG) and marginal zone-B1 cells (P=0.011 and R=0.410 for IgM) were positively correlated with anti-A antibody titer. Further analysis of peritoneal B cells confirmed B1 cell enrichment in the peritoneal cavity but showed no difference in blood group A-specific B1 cell enrichment between the peritoneal cavity and peripheral blood.
Human B1 cells are the key blood group A-specific B cells that have a moderate correlation with anti-A antibody titer and therefore constitute a potential therapeutic target for successful ABO-incompatible transplantation.


Anti-ABO antibodies; Blood group A antigen; Human B1 cells; Human marginal zone B cells; Peritoneal B cells

MeSH Terms

Antibody Formation
Ascitic Fluid
B-Lymphocyte Subsets
Healthy Volunteers
Immunoglobulin M
Peritoneal Cavity
Peritoneal Dialysis
Immunoglobulin M
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