Heritable diversity in the human antigen inexperienced B cell repertoire

Michael J. Pitcher, Jo Spencer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Human transitional B cells and naïve B cells are each variable beyond the widely discussed diversity in their B cell receptor repertoire, because whilst remaining within their subset definition, the phenotypes and transcriptomes of individual cells occur within a range of values. Cells can therefore have different functional biases. Here we have taken advantage of small clones of transitional and naïve B cells that exist within different tissue sites in pre-existing dataset to ask whether the transcriptomes of individual clone members are more similar to each other than to the transcriptomes of unrelated cells. We observe that cells that are clonally related are more similar to each other in terms of gene expression than they are to the remainder of cells in clones. This demonstrates that differences are shared between clone members and are therefore heritable. We suggest further that diversity in the transitional and naïve B cell populations has the potential to be propagated and thus sustained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-22
Number of pages3
JournalMolecular Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • B cell clones
  • Bioinformatics
  • Naive B cells
  • Single cell RNA sequencing data
  • Transitional B cells


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