Although the 3 isoforms of Akt regulate cell growth, proliferation, and survival in a wide variety of cell types, their role in B-cell development is unknown. We assessed B-cell maturation in the bone marrow (BM) and periphery in chimeras established with fetal liver progenitors lacking Akt1 and/or Akt2. We found that the generation of marginal zone (MZ) and B1 B cells, 2 key sources of antibacterial antibodies, was highly dependent on the combined expression of Akt1 and Akt2. In contrast, Akt1/2 deficiency did not negatively affect the generation of transitional or mature follicular B cells in the periphery or their precursors in the BM. However, Akt1/2-deficient follicular B cells exhibited a profound survival defect when forced to compete against wild-type B cells in vivo. Altogether, these studies show that Akt signaling plays a key role in peripheral B-cell maturation and survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology