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Cell Immunol. 2000 Jul 10;203(1):55-65.

The immune response modifiers imiquimod and R-848 are potent activators of B lymphocytes.

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Department of Pharmacology, 3M Pharmaceuticals, 3M Center, St. Paul, Minnesota 55144, USA.


Imiquimod and R-848 are members of a family of immune response modifiers that stimulate cytokine production in monocyte/macrophages and dendritic cell cultures. This study evaluated the effects of the imidazoquinolines, imiquimod and R-848, on B lymphocyte activation. Both agents induced proliferation of murine T-cell-depleted and highly purified splenic B cell preparations as well as purified human B cells. Resting and activated B cells responded to these agents, with activated cells responding more efficiently. B cells from the LPS-hyporesponsive C3H/HeJ mice and guanosine-hyporesponsive SJL mice proliferated in response to imiquimod and R-848, indicating a different mechanism of action than lipopolysaccharide and guanine nucleosides. B cells were also stimulated by imiquimod and R-848 to produce increased immunoglobulin levels. Increased expression of a number of B cell activation markers were seen following imiquimod or R-848 stimulation. Finally, R-848 was shown to act as a vaccine adjuvant enhancing OVA-specific IgG2a levels while suppressing total IgE. These results indicate that R-848 and imiquimod are potent activators of B lymphocytes and are capable of augmenting antigen-specific immunoglobulin production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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