T cell-derived IL-4 has many effects on murine B cells, including the up-regulation of class II antigens and the induction of isotype switching. The development of memory B cells and the decreased expression of J11d antigens on these cells are influenced by T cells. In this report, we determined whether the decreased expression of J11d can also be mediated by T cell-derived lymphokines and, in particular, IL-4. We found that IL-4 can down-regulate the expression of J11d on both large and small B cells, that this effect becomes significant after 48 hr of culture and occurs at doses of IL-4 that are similar to those required to up-regulate murine class II MHC antigens encoded by I-region α genes (IA). Anti-IL-4 antibody completely blocks this effect but IFN-γ does not. Other lymphokines (IL-1, IL-2, IL-3, IL-5, IL-6) neither induce a decrease in J11d nor alter the ability of IL-4 to down-regulate J11d expression. The decrease in J11d expression on B cells is not due to a preferential survival of cells expressing lower levels of J11d, although IL-4 has a more pronounced effect on these B cells. Finally, the down-regulation of J11d and upregulation of IA by IL-4 occurs on all inducible B cells.
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