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J Immunol. 1985 Sep;135(3):1661-7.

Antigen presentation by hapten-specific B lymphocytes. II. Specificity and properties of antigen-presenting B lymphocytes, and function of immunoglobulin receptors.


The studies described in this paper were designed to examine the ability of hapten-binding murine B lymphocytes to present hapten-protein conjugates to protein antigen-specific, Ia-restricted T cell hybridomas. BALB/c B cells specific for TNP or FITC presented hapten-modified proteins (TNP-G1 phi, TNP-OVA, or FITC-OVA) to the relevant T cell hybridomas at concentrations below 0.1 microgram/ml. Effective presentation of the same antigens by B lymphocyte-depleted splenocytes, and of unmodified proteins by either hapten-binding B cells or Ig spleen cells, required about 10(3)-to 10(4)-fold higher concentrations of antigen. The use of two different haptens and two carrier proteins showed that this extremely efficient presentation of antigen was highly specific, with hapten specificity being a property of the B cells and carrier specificity of the responding T cells. The presentation of hapten-proteins by hapten-binding B lymphocytes was radiosensitive and was not affected by the depletion of plastic-adherent cells, suggesting that conventional APCs (macrophages or dendritic cells) are not required in this phenomenon. Antigen-pulsing and antibody-blocking experiments showed that this hapten-specific antigen presentation required initial binding of antigen to surface Ig receptors. Moreover, linked recognition of hapten and carrier determinants was required, but these recognition events could be temporally separated. Finally, an antigen-processing step was found to be necessary, and this step was disrupted by ionizing radiation. These data suggest a role for B cell surface Ig in providing a specific high-affinity receptor to allow efficient uptake or focusing of antigen for its subsequent processing and presentation to T lymphocytes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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