Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Cancer. 1988 Jul 15;42(1):23-8.

Lymphocytes activated by the Epstein-Barr virus to produce immunoglobulin do not express CD23 or become immortalized.

Author information

Department of Haematology, Chenies Mews University College, London Medical School, UK.


Epstein-Barr virus causes polyclonal activation and immortalization of a small percentage of peripheral blood B lymphocytes after in vitro infection. However, the susceptible B lymphocytes have not been identified. We have used the B lymphocyte activation antigen, CD23, as a marker for separating immortalized and non-immortalized Epstein-Barr virus-infected B lymphocytes and have identified the polyclonally-activated cells, using double staining for cytoplasmic immunoglobulin and viral antigens. The vast majority of cells expressing cytoplasmic immunoglobulin are negative for CD23 and for Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen, and are non-immortalized. Conversely, the CD23-positive, immortalized population are positive for Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen and negative for cytoplasmic immunoglobulin. These results define a diversity in the response of B lymphocytes to Epstein-Barr virus infection and suggest separate pathways for terminal differentiation and immortalization. This diversity may be important in determining the outcome of Epstein-Barr virus infection in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center