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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 May 16;304(4):701-7.

Human follicular dendritic cells and fibroblasts share the 3C8 antigen.

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Vascular System Research Center, Kangwon National University, Chunchon, Kangwon 200-701, Republic of Korea.


Although the pivotal role of follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) in humoral immune responses has been demonstrated, little is known of the molecular basis of biological functions and the cellular origin of FDC. We have recently generated a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against FDC by immunizing mice with FDC-like tonsillar stromal cells. The mAb 3C8 does not cross-react with bone marrow-derived blood cells. Partial amino acid sequencing revealed that 3C8 Ag is a novel human protein. In this study, we carried out a detailed analysis of 3C8 immunoreactivity with tonsil sections to examine cellular distribution of 3C8 Ag. 3C8 Ab recognized connective tissue fibroblasts in addition to FDC. Western blot analysis indicated that 3C8 antigen is expressed in various fibroblasts and is specific to human species. Furthermore, there was a correlation between 3C8 expression in several stromal cell lines and their co-stimulatory activity of germinal center B cell proliferation. These findings strongly support the view that FDCs originate from local fibroblasts.

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