• Metabolites: deciphering the molecular language between DCs and their environment.

      Minarrieta, Lucía; Ghorbani, Peyman; Sparwasser, Tim; Berod, Luciana; Twincore Centre of Experimental and Clinical Infection Research; a joint venture between the Hannover Medical School and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Hannover 30625, Germany. (2017-02)
      Dendritic cells (DCs) determine the outcome of the immune response based on signals they receive from the environment. Presentation of antigen under various contexts can lead to activation and differentiation of T cells for immunity or dampening of immune responses by establishing tolerance, primarily through the priming of regulatory T cells. Infections, inflammation and normal cellular interactions shape DC responses through direct contact or via cytokine signaling. Although it is widely accepted that DCs sense microbial components through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), increasing evidence advocates for the existence of a set of signals that can profoundly shape DC function via PRR-independent pathways. This diverse group of host- or commensal-derived metabolites represents a newly appreciated code from which DCs can interpret environmental cues. In this review, we discuss the existing information on the effect of some of the most studied metabolites on DC function, together with the implications this may have in immune-mediated diseases.
    • Metabolic pathways in T cell activation and lineage differentiation.

      Almeida, Luís; Lochner, Matthias; Berod, Luciana; Sparwasser, Tim; TwinCore, Centre for experimental and clinical infection research GmbH, Ferodor-Lynen-Str.7,30625 Hannover, Germany. (2016-10)
      Recent advances in the field of immunometabolism support the concept that fundamental processes in T cell biology, such as TCR-mediated activation and T helper lineage differentiation, are closely linked to changes in the cellular metabolic programs. Although the major task of the intermediate metabolism is to provide the cell with a constant supply of energy and molecular precursors for the production of biomolecules, the dynamic regulation of metabolic pathways also plays an active role in shaping T cell responses. Key metabolic processes such as glycolysis, fatty acid and mitochondrial metabolism are now recognized as crucial players in T cell activation and differentiation, and their modulation can differentially affect the development of T helper cell lineages. In this review, we describe the diverse metabolic processes that T cells engage during their life cycle from naïve towards effector and memory T cells. We consider in particular how the cellular metabolism may actively support the function of T cells in their different states. Moreover, we discuss how molecular regulators such as mTOR or AMPK link environmental changes to adaptations in the cellular metabolism and elucidate the consequences on T cell differentiation and function.
    • Conventional Dendritic Cells Confer Protection against Mouse Cytomegalovirus Infection via TLR9 and MyD88 Signaling.

      Puttur, Franz; Francozo, Marcela; Solmaz, Gülhas; Bueno, Carlos; Lindenberg, Marc; Gohmert, Melanie; Swallow, Maxine; Tufa, Dejene; Jacobs, Roland; Lienenklaus, Stefan; et al. (2016-10-18)
      Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an opportunistic virus severely infecting immunocompromised individuals. In mice, endosomal Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and downstream myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) are central to activating innate immune responses against mouse CMV (MCMV). In this respect, the cell-specific contribution of these pathways in initiating anti-MCMV immunity remains unclear. Using transgenic mice, we demonstrate that TLR9/MyD88 signaling selectively in CD11c(+) dendritic cells (DCs) strongly enhances MCMV clearance by boosting natural killer (NK) cell CD69 expression and IFN-γ production. In addition, we show that in the absence of plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), conventional DCs (cDCs) promote robust NK cell effector function and MCMV clearance in a TLR9/MyD88-dependent manner. Simultaneously, cDC-derived IL-15 regulates NK cell degranulation by TLR9/MyD88-independent mechanisms. Overall, we compartmentalize the cellular contribution of TLR9 and MyD88 signaling in individual DC subsets and evaluate the mechanism by which cDCs control MCMV immunity.
    • The Special Relationship in the Development and Function of T Helper 17 and Regulatory T Cells.

      Lochner, Matthias; Wang, Zuobai; Sparwasser, Tim; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Medicine, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2015)
      T helper 17 (Th17) cells play an essential role in the clearance of extracellular pathogenic bacteria and fungi. However, this subset is critically involved in the pathology of many autoimmune diseases, e.g., psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, allergy, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases in humans. Therefore, Th17 responses need to be tightly regulated in vivo to mediate effective host defenses against pathogens without causing excessive host tissue damage. Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells play an important role in maintaining peripheral tolerance to self-antigens and in counteracting the inflammatory activity of effector T helper cell subsets. Although Th17 and Treg cells represent two CD4(+) T cell subsets with opposing principal functions, these cell types are functionally connected. In this review, we will first give an overview on the biology of Th17 cells and describe their development and in vivo function, followed by an account on the special developmental relationship between Th17 and Treg cells. We will describe the identification of Treg/Th17 intermediates and consider their lineage stability and function in vivo. Finally, we will discuss how Treg cells may regulate the Th17 cell response in the context of infection and inflammation, and elude on findings demonstrating that Treg cells can also have a prominent function in promoting the differentiation of Th17 cells.
    • Combination of nanoparticle-based therapeutic vaccination and transient ablation of regulatory T cells enhances anti-viral immunity during chronic retroviral infection.

      Knuschke, Torben; Rotan, Olga; Bayer, Wibke; Sokolova, Viktoriya; Hansen, Wiebke; Sparwasser, Tim; Dittmer, Ulf; Epple, Matthias; Buer, Jan; Westendorf, Astrid M; et al. (2016)
      Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been shown to limit anti-viral immunity during chronic retroviral infection and to restrict vaccine-induced T cell responses. The objective of the study was to assess whether a combinational therapy of nanoparticle-based therapeutic vaccination and concomitant transient ablation of Tregs augments anti-viral immunity and improves virus control in chronically retrovirus-infected mice. Therefore, chronically Friend retrovirus (FV)-infected mice were immunized with calcium phosphate (CaP) nanoparticles functionalized with TLR9 ligand CpG and CD8(+) or CD4(+) T cell epitope peptides (GagL85-93 or Env gp70123-141) of FV. In addition, Tregs were ablated during the immunization process. Reactivation of CD4(+) and CD8(+) effector T cells was analysed and the viral loads were determined.
    • Sialic acid-modified antigens impose tolerance via inhibition of T-cell proliferation and de novo induction of regulatory T cells.

      Perdicchio, Maurizio; Ilarregui, Juan M; Verstege, Marleen I; Cornelissen, Lenneke A M; Schetters, Sjoerd T T; Engels, Steef; Ambrosini, Martino; Kalay, Hakan; Veninga, Henrike; den Haan, Joke M M; et al. (2016-03-22)
      Sialic acids are negatively charged nine-carbon carboxylated monosaccharides that often cap glycans on glycosylated proteins and lipids. Because of their strategic location at the cell surface, sialic acids contribute to interactions that are critical for immune homeostasis via interactions with sialic acid-binding Ig-type lectins (siglecs). In particular, these interactions may be of importance in cases where sialic acids may be overexpressed, such as on certain pathogens and tumors. We now demonstrate that modification of antigens with sialic acids (Sia-antigens) regulates the generation of antigen-specific regulatory T (Treg) cells via dendritic cells (DCs). Additionally, DCs that take up Sia-antigen prevent formation of effector CD4(+)and CD8(+)T cells. Importantly, the regulatory properties endowed on DCs upon Sia-antigen uptake are antigen-specific: only T cells responsive to the sialylated antigen become tolerized. In vivo, injection of Sia-antigen-loaded DCs increased de novo Treg-cell numbers and dampened effector T-cell expansion and IFN-γ production. The dual tolerogenic features that Sia-antigen imposed on DCs are Siglec-E-mediated and maintained under inflammatory conditions. Moreover, loading DCs with Sia-antigens not only inhibited the function of in vitro-established Th1 and Th17 effector T cells but also significantly dampened ex vivo myelin-reactive T cells, present in the circulation of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. These data indicate that sialic acid-modified antigens instruct DCs in an antigen-specific tolerogenic programming, enhancing Treg cells and reducing the generation and propagation of inflammatory T cells. Our data suggest that sialylation of antigens provides an attractive way to induce antigen-specific immune tolerance.
    • Low-level regulatory T-cell activity is essential for functional type-2 effector immunity to expel gastrointestinal helminths.

      Smith, K A; Filbey, K J; Reynolds, L A; Hewitson, J P; Harcus, Y; Boon, L; Sparwasser, Tim; Hämmerling, G; Maizels, R M; Twincore Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, a joint venture between the Medical School Hanover and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Hanover, Germany. (2016-03)
      Helminth infection is frequently associated with the expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and suppression of immune responses to bystander antigens. We show that infection of mice with the chronic gastrointestinal helminth Heligmosomoides polygyrus drives rapid polyclonal expansion of Foxp3(+)Helios(+)CD4(+) thymic (t)Tregs in the lamina propria and mesenteric lymph nodes while Foxp3(+)Helios(-)CD4(+) peripheral (p)Treg expand more slowly. Notably, in partially resistant BALB/c mice parasite survival positively correlates with Foxp3(+)Helios(+)CD4(+) tTreg numbers. Boosting of Foxp3(+)Helios(+)CD4(+) tTreg populations by administration of recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2):anti-IL-2 (IL-2C) complex increased worm persistence by diminishing type-2 responsiveness in vivo, including suppression of alternatively activated macrophage and granulomatous responses at the sites of infection. IL-2C also increased innate lymphoid cell (ILC) numbers, indicating that Treg functions dominate over ILC effects in this setting. Surprisingly, complete removal of Tregs in transgenic Foxp3-DTR mice also resulted in increased worm burdens, with "immunological chaos" evident in high levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and interferon-γ. In contrast, worm clearance could be induced by anti-CD25 antibody-mediated partial depletion of early Treg, alongside increased T helper type 2 responses and without incurring pathology. These findings highlight the overarching importance of the early Treg response to infection and the non-linear association between inflammation and the prevailing Treg frequency.
    • Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection-induced CD11b+ Gr1+ cells ameliorate allergic airway inflammation.

      Ganesh, Venkateswaran; Baru, Abdul Mannan; Hesse, Christina; Friedrich, Christin; Glage, Silke; Gohmert, Melanie; Jänke, Christine; Sparwasser, Tim (2014-03)
      Allergies are mainly characterized as an unrestrained Th2-biased immune response. Epidemiological data associate protection from allergic diseases with the exposure to certain infectious agents during early stages of life. Modulation of the immune response by pathogens has been considered to be a major factor influencing this protection. Recent evidence indicates that immunoregulatory mechanisms induced upon infection ameliorate allergic disorders. A longitudinal study has demonstrated reduced frequency and incidence of asthma in children who reported a prior infection with Salmonella. Experimental studies involving Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium-infected murine models have confirmed protection from induced allergic airway inflammation; however, the underlying cause leading to this amelioration remains incompletely defined. In this study, we aimed to delineate the regulatory function of Salmonella Typhimurium infection in the amelioration of allergic airway inflammation in mice. We observed a significant increase in CD11b+ Gr1+ myeloid cell populations in mice after infection with S. Typhimurium. Using in vitro and in vivo studies, we confirmed that these myeloid cells reduce airway inflammation by influencing Th2 cells. Further characterization showed that the CD11b+ Gr1+ myeloid cells exhibited their inhibitory effect by altering GATA-3 expression and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production by Th2 cells. These results indicate that the expansion of myeloid cells upon S. Typhimurium infection could potentially play a significant role in curtailing allergic airway inflammation. These findings signify the contribution of myeloid cells in preventing Th2-mediated diseases and suggest their possible application as therapeutics.
    • Regulatory T cells suppress antiviral immune responses and increase viral loads during acute infection with a lymphotropic retrovirus.

      Zelinskyy, Gennadiy; Dietze, Kirsten; Sparwasser, Tim; Dittmer, Ulf; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2009-08)
    • Foxp3+ regulatory T cells control persistence of viral CNS infection.

      Reuter, Dajana; Sparwasser, Tim; Hünig, Thomas; Schneider-Schaulies, Jürgen; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2012)
      We earlier established a model of a persistent viral CNS infection using two week old immunologically normal (genetically unmodified) mice and recombinant measles virus (MV). Using this model infection we investigated the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) as regulators of the immune response in the brain, and assessed whether the persistent CNS infection can be modulated by manipulation of Tregs in the periphery. CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs were expanded or depleted during the persistent phase of the CNS infection, and the consequences for the virus-specific immune response and the extent of persistent infection were analyzed. Virus-specific CD8(+) T cells predominantly recognising the H-2D(b)-presented viral hemagglutinin epitope MV-H(22-30) (RIVINREHL) were quantified in the brain by pentamer staining. Expansion of Tregs after intraperitoneal (i.p.) application of the superagonistic anti-CD28 antibody D665 inducing transient immunosuppression caused increased virus replication and spread in the CNS. In contrast, depletion of Tregs using diphtheria toxin (DT) in DEREG (depletion of regulatory T cells)-mice induced an increase of virus-specific CD8(+) effector T cells in the brain and caused a reduction of the persistent infection. These data indicate that manipulation of Tregs in the periphery can be utilized to regulate virus persistence in the CNS.
    • Mouse cytomegalovirus infection overrules T regulatory cell suppression on natural killer cells.

      Lindenberg, Marc; Solmaz, Gulhas; Puttur, Franz; Sparwasser, Tim; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2014)
      Cytomegalovirus establishes lifelong persistency in the host and leads to life threatening situations in immunocompromised patients. FoxP3+ T regulatory cells (Tregs) critically control and suppress innate and adaptive immune responses. However, their specific role during MCMV infection, especially pertaining to their interaction with NK cells, remains incompletely defined.
    • Transient depletion of regulatory T cells in transgenic mice reactivates virus-specific CD8+ T cells and reduces chronic retroviral set points.

      Dietze, Kirsten K; Zelinskyy, Gennadiy; Gibbert, Kathrin; Schimmer, Simone; Francois, Sandra; Myers, Lara; Sparwasser, Tim; Hasenkrug, Kim J; Dittmer, Ulf; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2011-02-08)
      Although chronic infections with viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C virus have been associated with regulatory T cell (Treg)-mediated suppression of virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell activity, no causal relationship between Tregs and chronic viral set points has been established. Using transgenic mice in which Tregs can be selectively ablated, we now show that transient depletion of Tregs during a chronic retroviral infection allows exhausted CD8(+) T cells to regain antiviral functions, including secretion of cytokines, production of cytotoxic molecules, and virus-specific cytolytic activity. Furthermore, short-term Treg ablation resulted in long-term reductions in chronic virus loads. These results demonstrate that Treg-mediated immunosuppression can be a significant factor in the maintenance of chronic viral infections and that Treg-targeted immunotherapy could be a valuable component in therapeutic strategies to treat chronic infectious diseases.
    • FoxP3+ regulatory T cells essentially contribute to peripheral CD8+ T-cell tolerance induced by steady-state dendritic cells.

      Schildknecht, Anita; Brauer, Sabine; Brenner, Corinne; Lahl, Katharina; Schild, Hansjörg; Sparwasser, Tim; Probst, Hans Christian; van den Broek, Maries; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 3-7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2010-01-05)
      Peripheral T-cell tolerance is thought to significantly contribute to the prevention of autoimmunity, and it has been shown that antigen-presenting steady-state dendritic cells efficiently induce peripheral tolerance. We previously showed that dendritic-cell-induced tolerance is a T-cell-intrinsic process that depends on coinhibitory molecules such as programmed death-1. Here we specifically analyze the involvement of FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells, which are known to be important for maintenance of self-tolerance. We show that antigen presentation by steady-state dendritic cells failed to induce peripheral tolerance in the absence of FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells but induced protective CD8(+) T-cell-mediated immunity instead. Regulatory T-cell-depleted mice had massively increased numbers of dendritic cells in lymph nodes. Dendritic cells isolated from mice without regulatory T cells had up-regulated costimulatory molecules and showed stronger T-cell stimulatory capacity ex vivo, suggesting that regulatory T cells contribute to peripheral tolerance by keeping the dendritic cells in an immature state. Using blocking antibodies, we demonstrate that CTLA-4 but not IL-10 is necessary for control of dendritic cells by regulatory T cells.
    • Secretory phospholipase A2-IID is an effector molecule of CD4 + CD25 + regulatory T cells

      von Allmen, Caroline E.; Schmitz, Nicole; Bauer, Monika; Hinton, Heather J.; Kurrer, Michael O.; Buser, Regula B.; Gwerder, Myriam; Muntwiler, Simone; Sparwasser, Tim; Beerli, Roger R.; et al. (2009-07-14)
    • Antigen receptor-mediated depletion of FOXP3 in induced regulatory T-lymphocytes via PTPN2 and FOXO1

      Bothur, Evita; Raifer, Hartmann; Haftmann, Claudia; Stittrich, Anna-Barbara; Brüstle, Anne; Brenner, Dirk; Bollig, Nadine; Bieringer, Maria; Kang, Chol-Ho; Reinhard, Katharina; et al. (2015-10-13)
    • Antigen targeting to dendritic cells combined with transient regulatory T cell inhibition results in long-term tumor regression.

      Unger, Wendy Wj; Mayer, Christian T; Engels, Steef; Hesse, Christina; Perdicchio, Maurizio; Puttur, Franz; Streng-Ouwehand, Ingeborg; Litjens, Manja; Kalay, Hakan; Berod, Luciana; et al. (2015-08)
      Therapeutic vaccinations against cancer are still largely ineffective. Major caveats are inefficient delivery of tumor antigens to dendritic cells (DCs) and excessive immune suppression by Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs), resulting in defective T cell priming and failure to induce tumor regression. To circumvent these problems we evaluated a novel combinatorial therapeutic strategy. We show that tumor antigen targeting to DC-SIGN in humanized hSIGN mice via glycans or specific antibodies induces superior T cell priming. Next, this targeted therapy was combined with transient Foxp3(+) Treg depletion employing hSIGNxDEREG mice. While Treg depletion alone slightly delayed B16-OVA melanoma growth, only the combination therapy instigated long-term tumor regression in a substantial fraction of mice. This novel strategy resulted in optimal generation of antigen-specific activated CD8(+) T cells which accumulated in regressing tumors. Notably, Treg depletion also allowed the local appearance of effector T cells specific for endogenous B16 antigens. This indicates that antitumor immune responses can be broadened by therapies aimed at controlling Tregs in tumor environments. Thus, transient inhibition of Treg-mediated immune suppression potentiates DC targeted antigen vaccination and tumor-specific immunity.
    • Active suppression of intestinal CD4(+)TCRαβ(+) T-lymphocyte maturation during the postnatal period.

      Torow, Natalia; Yu, Kai; Hassani, Kasra; Freitag, Jenny; Schulz, Olga; Basic, Marijana; Brennecke, Anne; Sparwasser, Tim; Wagner, Norbert; Bleich, André; et al. (2015)
      Priming of the mucosal immune system during the postnatal period substantially influences host-microbial interaction and susceptibility to immune-mediated diseases in adult life. The underlying mechanisms are ill defined. Here we show that shortly after birth, CD4 T cells populate preformed lymphoid structures in the small intestine and quickly acquire a distinct transcriptional profile. T-cell recruitment is independent of microbial colonization and innate or adaptive immune stimulation but requires β7 integrin expression. Surprisingly, neonatal CD4 T cells remain immature throughout the postnatal period under homeostatic conditions but undergo maturation and gain effector function on barrier disruption. Maternal SIgA and regulatory T cells act in concert to prevent immune stimulation and maintain the immature phenotype of CD4 T cells in the postnatal intestine during homeostasis. Active suppression of CD4 T-cell maturation during the postnatal period might contribute to prevent auto-reactivity, sustain a broad TCR repertoire and establish life-long immune homeostasis.
    • Immunostimulatory Effects Triggered by Enterococcus faecalis CECT7121 Probiotic Strain Involve Activation of Dendritic Cells and Interferon-Gamma Production.

      Molina, Matías Alejandro; Díaz, Ailén Magalí; Hesse, Christina; Ginter, Wiebke; Gentilini, María Virginia; Nuñez, Guillermo Gabriel; Canellada, Andrea Mercedes; Sparwasser, Tim; Berod, Luciana; Castro, Marisa Silvia; et al. (2015)
      Probiotics can modulate the immune system, conferring beneficial effects on the host. Understanding how these microorganisms contribute to improve the health status is still a challenge. Previously, we have demonstrated that Enterococcus faecalis CECT7121 implants itself and persists in the murine gastrointestinal tract, and enhances and skews the profile of cytokines towards the Th1 phenotype in several biological models. Given the importance of dendritic cells (DCs) in the orchestration of immunity, the aim of this work was to elucidate the influence of E. faecalis CECT7121 on DCs and the outcome of the immune responses. In this work we show that E. faecalis CECT7121 induces a strong dose-dependent activation of DCs and secretion of high levels of IL-12, IL-6, TNFα, and IL-10. This stimulation is dependent on TLR signaling, and skews the activation of T cells towards the production of IFNγ. The influence of this activation in the establishment of Th responses in vivo shows the accumulation of specific IFNγ-producing cells. Our findings indicate that the activation exerted by E. faecalis CECT7121 on DCs and its consequence on the cellular adaptive immune response may have broad therapeutic implications in immunomodulation.
    • CD4+ natural regulatory T cells prevent experimental cerebral malaria via CTLA-4 when expanded in vivo.

      Haque, Ashraful; Best, Shannon E; Amante, Fiona H; Mustafah, Seri; Desbarrieres, Laure; de Labastida, Fabian; Sparwasser, Tim; Hill, Geoffrey R; Engwerda, Christian R (2010)
      Studies in malaria patients indicate that higher frequencies of peripheral blood CD4(+) Foxp3(+) CD25(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells correlate with increased blood parasitemia. This observation implies that Treg cells impair pathogen clearance and thus may be detrimental to the host during infection. In C57BL/6 mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA, depletion of Foxp3(+) cells did not improve parasite control or disease outcome. In contrast, elevating frequencies of natural Treg cells in vivo using IL-2/anti-IL-2 complexes resulted in complete protection against severe disease. This protection was entirely dependent upon Foxp3(+) cells and resulted in lower parasite biomass, impaired antigen-specific CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cell responses that would normally promote parasite tissue sequestration in this model, and reduced recruitment of conventional T cells to the brain. Furthermore, Foxp3(+) cell-mediated protection was dependent upon CTLA-4 but not IL-10. These data show that T cell-mediated parasite tissue sequestration can be reduced by regulatory T cells in a mouse model of malaria, thereby limiting malaria-induced immune pathology.
    • Towards the generation of B-cell receptor retrogenic mice.

      Freitag, Jenny; Heink, Sylvia; Roth, Edith; Wittmann, Jürgen; Jäck, Hans-Martin; Kamradt, Thomas; Institute for Infection Immunology, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, a joint venture between the Medical, School Hannover (MHH) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Hannover, Germany. (2014)
      Transgenic expression of B- and T-cell receptors (BCRs and TCRs, respectively) has been a standard tool to study lymphocyte development and function in vivo. The generation of transgenic mice is time-consuming and, therefore, a faster method to study the biology of defined lymphocyte receptors in vivo would be highly welcome. Using 2A peptide-linked multicistronic retroviral vectors to transduce stem cells, TCRs can be expressed rapidly in mice of any background. We aimed at adopting this retrogenic technology to the in vivo expression of BCRs. Using a well characterised BCR specific for hen egg lysozyme (HEL), we achieved surface expression of the retrogenically encoded BCR in a Rag-deficient pro B-cell line in vitro. In vivo, retrogenic BCRs were detectable only intracellularly but not on the surface of B cells from wild type or Rag2-deficient mice. This data, together with the fact that no BCR retrogenic mouse model has been published in the 7 years since the method was originally published for TCRs, strongly suggests that achieving BCR-expression in vivo with retrogenic technology is highly challenging if not impossible.