This study tested the hypothesis that B cells from salivary tissue are distinct in terms of proliferative capacity, immunoglobulin M secretion, repertoire, and autoantibody enrichment in Sjögren's syndrome. We sorted purified B cells from the spleen, cervical lymph nodes, and submandibular glands of a primary Sjögren's syndrome mouse model (Id3(-/-)). Enzyme-linked immunospot and proliferation assays were performed with stimulated B cells. We single-cell sorted B cells from the spleen, cervical lymph nodes, and submandibular gland tissue from Sjögren's syndrome mice and sequenced immunoglobulin M heavy-chain variable regions. Finally, autoantigen arrays were performed using immunoglobulin M derived from sera, cervical lymph nodes, spleens, and submandibular gland tissue of Id3(-/-) animals. Results suggest B cells from salivary tissue of Sjögren's syndrome mice are similar to those from secondary immune sites in terms of proliferative and secretory capacity. However, differences in repertoire usage, heavy chain complementarity-determining region 3 length, mutational frequency, and N region addition were observed among B cells derived from submandibular gland, cervical lymph node, and spleen tissue. Moreover, autoantigen array data show immunoglobulin M from salivary B cells have enriched specificity for Ro (Sjögren's syndrome A) and La (Sjögren's syndrome B). All together, these data suggest salivary B cells have unique repertoire characteristics that likely influence autoantigen binding and contribute to Sjögren's syndrome disease in a tissue-specific manner.
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