It is well documented that thymic epithelial cells participate in the process of negative selection in the thymus. In recent years it was reported that also dendritic cells enter the thymus and contribute to this process, thus allowing for the depletion of thymocytes that are specific to peripherally expressed self-antigens. Here we report that also B cells may take part in the elimination of auto-reactive thymocytes. Using a unique mouse model we show that B cells induce negative selection of self-reactive thymocytes in a process that leads to the deletion of these cells whereas regulatory T cells are spared. These findings have direct implication in autoimmunity, as expression of a myelin antigen by B cells in the thymus renders the mice resistant to autoimmune inflammation of the CNS
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