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Cell Immunol. 2005 Dec;238(2):123-34. Epub 2006 Apr 5.

IL-21 dependent IgE production in human and mouse in vitro culture systems is cell density and cell division dependent and is augmented by IL-10.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


IL-21 is known to enhance immunoglobulin production using human in vitro models. Using either PBMC or purified tonsilar B cells both stimulated with anti-CD40, IL-4+/-IL-21, this enhancement was shown to correlate with increased cell division especially for IgE and to a lesser extent for IgM and total IgG. Cell division was monitored by CFSE staining and maximum cell division was found at low initial cell plating densities. A correlation between increased cell division and IL-10-mediated enhancement of IgE production was also seen; however, increased cell division plays a smaller role with IL-10 than IL-21. This is further emphasized in that when IL-10 and IL-21 were added together there was a further synergistic increase in IgE seen, but no accompanying further increase in cell division. The mouse system was also examined for IL-21 effects as a function of cell concentration, and as in humans, IL-21 added to murine cells increased IgE production over IL-4/CD40 stimulated cells at lower cell concentrations; however, IL-21 significantly reduced IgE at higher plated cell concentrations.

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