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J Immunol. 2001 Dec 1;167(11):6348-55.

The impact of H2-DM on humoral immune responses.

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R. W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.


H2-DM (DM, previously H2-M) facilitates the exchange of peptides bound to MHC class II molecules. In this study, we have used H2-DM-deficient (DM(-/-)) mice to analyze the influence of DM in the priming of B cell responses in vivo and for Ag presentation by B cells in vitro. After immunization, IgG Abs could be raised to a T-dependent Ag, 4-hydroxy-5-nitrophenylacetyl-OVA, in DM(-/-) mice, but closer analysis revealed the IgG response to be slower, diminished in titer, and composed of low-affinity Abs. The Ab response correlated with a vast reduction in the number of germinal centers in the spleen. The presentation of multiple epitopes by H2-A(b) from distinct Ags was found to be almost exclusively DM-dependent whether B cells internalized Ags via fluid phase uptake or using membrane Ig receptors. The poor B cell response in vivo could be largely, but not completely restored by expression of a H2-Ea(d) transgene, despite the fact that Ag presentation by H2-E(d/b) molecules was found to be highly DM dependent. Hence, while substantial Ab responses can be raised in the absence of DM, this molecule is a crucial factor both for Ag processing and for the normal maturation of T-dependent humoral immune responses in vivo.

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