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J Immunol. 2014 May 1;192(9):4174-83. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1302359. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

Naive idiotope-specific B and T cells collaborate efficiently in the absence of dendritic cells.

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Centre for Immune Regulation, Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo, N-0372 Oslo, Norway;


Anti-idiotope (anti-Id) Abs have a role in therapy against B cell lymphomas, as inhibitors of pathogenic autoantibodies, and as surrogate Ags for immunization. Despite these observations, the mechanism by which Id(+) Ig generates anti-Id Abs is essentially unknown. To address this issue, we generated a double knock-in mouse that expresses V regions of a somatically mutated anti-Id mAb with intermediate affinity (affinity constant [Ka] = 0.77 × 10(7) M(-1)) for the myeloma protein M315. The anti-Id mice have normal peripheral B cell populations, and allelic exclusion is efficient. Anti-Id B cells from BCR knock-in mice, together with Id-specific CD4(+) T cells from previously established TCR-transgenic mice, enabled us to study Id-specific T cell-B cell collaboration by dilution of transferred cells into syngeneic BALB/c recipients. We show that previously unstimulated (naive) Id-specific B and T cells collaborate efficiently in vivo, even at low frequencies and in the presence of low amounts of Id(+) Ig, resulting in germinal center formation, plasma cell development, and secretion of isotype-switched anti-Id Abs. We further demonstrate that Id-specific T cell-B cell collaboration occurs readily in the absence of adjuvant and is not dependent on Id-presentation by dendritic cells. The results underscore the potency of anti-Id B cells in MHC class II-restricted presentation of Id(+) Ig and suggest that Id-specific T cell-B cell collaboration is of physiological relevance.

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