All animal experiments were carried out within institutional guid

All animal experiments were carried out within institutional guidelines (permission numbers: 1887 and 1888). FITC-, PE-, allophycocyanin-Cy7-, PE-Cy7- or biotin-conjugated mAbs specific for mouse CD4 (GK1.5), CD5 (53-7.3), CD8α (53-6.7), CD11b (M1/70), CD19 (1D3), CD21 (CR2/CR1), CD23 (B3B4), CD45R (B220; RA3-6B2) and λ1+2-LC were purchased from

BD Biosciences. Human CD10-PE (HI10a) and CD19-alloophycocyanin (HIB19) were purchased from Biolegends. Anti-human IgM-FITC (SA-DA4) was purchased from Southern Biotech. Antibodies specific for IgM (M41), κ-LC (187.1), CD93 (PB493, C1qRp), anti-mouse BAFF-R (9B9) 20 and anti-human BAFF-R (HuBR9.1) were purified from hybridoma supernatant and labeled with FITC or biotin using RAD001 standard procedures. (Biotin-labeled antibodies were revealed by PE-Cy7-streptavidin; BD Biosciences.) Staining of cells was performed as described previously 39. Apoptotic cells were determined by using an Annexin V

apoptosis detection kit (eBioscience). Flow cytometry was performed using a FACS Calibur (BD Biosciences), and data were analyzed using the Cell Quest Pro Software (BD Biosciences). For flow cytometry with five colors or for cell sorting, the FACS Aria (BD Biosciences) was used. For cell sorting, erythrocyte-depleted BM cells were stained in IMDM supplemented with 2% FBS with saturating concentrations of the appropriate antibodies. After a 30-min incubation at 4°C, cells were washed in PBS MK-1775 with 2% FBS, resuspended in filtered PBS with 2% FBS and then filtered through a 20-μm diameter nylon mesh prior to sorting. Re-analyses of sorted cells indicated that in all instances they were >98% pure. BM samples were from routine clinical specimens taken from patients at Ospedale San Gerardo (Monza, Italy). Fully informed written

parental consent was obtained in accordance with national guidelines. Total mononuclear cells (MNCs) were isolated by Ficoll gradient centrifugation. MNCs were stained for CD19, CD10, IgM and BAFF-R (mAb Hu-Br 9.1 generated in our laboratory) Oxalosuccinic acid and sorted as previously described 39. Sorted BM B cells were maintained in IMDM medium supplemented with 2% FBS, 100 U/mL penicillin and 100 μg/mL streptomycin and grown at 37°C in 10% CO2. Twenty-five micrograms per milliliter anti-κ-LC (clone 187.1) or 25 μg/mL anti-IgM (clone M41) antibody was added as indicated. Total RNA was extracted from cells using TRI Reagent® (MRC, Cincinnati, USA), and first-strand synthesis was performed with Superscript® RT kit (Roche) according to manufacturer’s guidelines. PCR for Rag-2 and β-actin was carried out with Taq polymerase (Sigma-Aldrich). For amplification of mouse Rag-2, the following primers were used: 5′-CAC ATC CAC AAG CAG GAA GTA CAC-3′ and 5′-GGT TCA GGG ACA TCT CCT ACTA AG-3′. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was performed by serial dilutions of cDNA. The reaction conditions were 30 s at 94°C initially, 30 s at 94°C, 30 s at 64°C and 90 s at 72°C for 40 cycles, and 10 min at 72°C.

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