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J Immunol. 2003 Aug 15;171(4):1835-43.

Inhibitory coreceptors activated by antigens but not by anti-Ig heavy chain antibodies install requirement of costimulation through CD40 for survival and proliferation of B cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, School of Biomedical Science, Department of Immunology, Medical Research Institute, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.


Ag-induced B cell proliferation in vivo requires a costimulatory signal through CD40, whereas B cell Ag receptor (BCR) ligation by anti-Ig H chain Abs, such as anti-Ig micro H chain Ab and anti-Ig delta H chain Ab, alone induces proliferation of B cells in vitro, even in the absence of CD40 ligation. In this study, we demonstrate that CD40 signaling is required for survival and proliferation of B cells stimulated by protein Ags in vitro as well as in vivo. This indicates that the in vitro system represents B cell activation in vivo, and that protein Ags generate BCR signaling distinct from that by anti-Ig H chain Abs. Indeed, BCR ligation by Ags, but not by anti-Ig H chain Abs, efficiently phosphorylates the inhibitory coreceptors CD22 and CD72. When these coreceptors are activated, anti-Ig H chain Ab-stimulated B cells can survive and proliferate only in the presence of CD40 signaling. Conversely, treatment of Ag-stimulated B cells with anti-CD72 mAb blocks CD72 phosphorylation and induces proliferation, even in the absence of CD40 signaling. These results strongly suggest that activation of B cells by anti-Ig H chain Abs involves their ability to silence the inhibitory coreceptors, and that the inhibitory coreceptors install requirement of CD40 signaling for survival and proliferation of Ag-stimulated B cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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