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J Exp Med. 1989 Nov 1;170(5):1477-93.

Induction of human IgE synthesis by CD4+ T cell clones. Requirement for interleukin 4 and low molecular weight B cell growth factor.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305.


We have analyzed in detail the precise requirements for the induction of human IgE synthesis using several experimental approaches with purified B cells and well-characterized alloantigen-specific CD4+ T cell clones expressing different profiles of lymphokine secretion. Using these clones under cognate conditions in which the B cells expressed alloantigens recognized by the cloned T cells, we have confirmed that IL-4 is required for the induction of IgE synthesis, but we have clearly demonstrated that IL-4 by itself is not sufficient. With several cloned CD4+ T cell lines, including an IL-4-producing clone that could not induce IgE synthesis, and cloned T cells pretreated with cyclosporin A to inhibit lymphokine synthesis, we showed that Th cell-B cell interactions are necessary for IgE synthesis, and that low molecular weight B cell growth factor (LMW-BCGF) and IL-4, in combination, are lymphokines of major importance in the induction of IgE synthesis. Together our results indicate that optimal induction of an IgE-specific response requires the exposure of B cells to a particular complex of signals that include (a) a signal(s) involving Th-B cell interaction that primes B cells to receive additional signals from soluble lymphokines, (b) a specific B cell proliferative signal provided by LMW-BCGF, and (c) a specific B cell differentiation signal provided by IL-4.

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