In vitro activation of murine antigen-specific memory B cells by a T-dependent antigen

E. Yefenof, V. M. Sanders, J. W. Uhr, E. S. Vitetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


A procedure that generates an enriched population (60 to 85%) of memory B cells specific for TNP (TNP-MABC) was employed. The activation requirements of TNP-MABC for the T-dependent antigen TNP-KLH and carrier-primed helper T (T(h)) cells were compared to those for TNP-binding cells from non-immune mice (TNP-ABC). Proliferation and differentiation of TNP-MABC in response to cognate recognition of antigen requires less antigen and fewer carrier-primed T(h) cells than the activation of TNP-ABC. Furthermore, responses of the TNP-MABC were of a greater magnitude. Non-cognate activation induces a low level of proliferation of both TNP-ABC and TNP-MABC, but induces differentiation of TNP-MABC only. Percoll density fractionation of spleen cells prior to enrichment for TNP-MABC suggests that the small, dense cell population responds to cognate, but not to non-cognate activation. FACS separation of TNP-MABC by surface Ig isotype reveals that approximately 80% of the secondary IgG response is derived from cells expressing sIgG. Such cells constitute less than 10% of the total number of TNP-MABC. Limiting dilution studies with sorted TNP-MABC indicate that sIgG+ TNP-MABC are enriched for precursors that give rise to a large clone size. The in vitro results indicate the existence of three putative pathways for antigen-specific memory B cell activation by a T-dependent antigen: 1) sIgG+ cells differentiating into IgG-secreting cells; 2) sIgM+ cells differentiating into IgG-secreting cells; and 3) sIgM+ cells differentiating into IgM-secreting cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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