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Cell Immunol. 2007 Sep;249(1):37-45. Epub 2007 Dec 20.

Retinoic acid promotes mouse splenic B cell surface IgG expression and maturation stimulated by CD40 and IL-4.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 126-S Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Retinoic acid (RA) increases antibody production in vivo but its role in B-cell activation is unclear. In a model of purified mouse splenic B cells stimulated by CD40 coreceptor (as a surrogate of T cell co-stimulation), IL-4, a principal Th-2 cytokine, and ligation of the B-cell antigen receptor, CD40 engagement or IL-4 alone induced B-cell activation indicated by increased Ig gamma1 germline transcripts, cell proliferation, and surface (s)IgG1 expression, while triple stimulation with the combination of anti-CD40/IL-4/anti-mu synergized to heighten B-cell activation. Although RA was growth inhibitory for anti-CD40-activated B cells, RA increased the proportion of B cells that had more differentiated phenotypes, such as expression of higher level of activation-induced deaminase, Blimp-1, CD138/syndecan-1 and sIgG1. Overall, RA can promote B-cell maturation at the population level by increasing the number of sIgG1 and CD138 expressing cells, which may be related to the potentiation of humoral immunity in vivo.

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