Variation in immune homeostasis, the state in which the immune system is maintained in the absence of stimulation, is highly variable across populations. This variation is attributed to both genetic and environmental factors. However, the identity and function of specific regulators have been difficult to identify in humans. We evaluated homeostatic antibody levels in the serum of the Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse genetic reference population. We found heritable variation in all antibody isotypes and subtypes measured. We identified 4 quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with 3 IgG subtypes: IgG1, IgG2b, and IgG2c. While 3 of these QTL map to genome regions of known immunological significance (major histocompatibility and immunoglobulin heavy chain locus), Qih1 (associated with variation in IgG1) mapped to a novel locus on Chromosome 18. We further associated this locus with B cell proportions in the spleen and identify Methyl-CpG binding domain protein 1 under this locus as a novel regulator of homeostatic IgG1 levels in the serum and marginal zone B cells (MZB) in the spleen, consistent with a role in MZB differentiation to antibody secreting cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research