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J Immunol. 1985 Aug;135(2):973-9.

The B cell surface molecule B1 is functionally linked with B cell activation and differentiation.


The B1 molecule is a 32,000 m.w. phosphorylated cell surface protein expressed exclusively by B cells from the mid pre-B until the plasma cell stage of differentiation. Two monoclonal antibodies (gamma 2a and mu) reactive with this molecule were used to assess the role of B1 in B cell activation, proliferation, and differentiation. The anti-B1 antibodies at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 100 micrograms/ml significantly inhibited B cell proliferation induced by anti-mu antibodies, Staphylococcus aureus Cowan strain 1, activated T cells, and Epstein Barr virus. Although capable of inhibiting proliferation, anti-B1 antibody in soluble form or coupled to beads did not activate B cells or induce proliferation. Antibodies of comparable isotypes or against other B cell-restricted antigens, including B2, B4, B5, and HB-5, did not inhibit activation. Pretreatment of B cells with anti-B1 antibody did not inhibit activation, indicating that B cells had to be cultured with anti-B1 antibody for anti-B1-mediated inhibition to occur. Maximum inhibition was obtained when anti-B1 antibody was added at the initiation of culture. In agreement with this, growth factor-dependent proliferation of preactivated B cells was not inhibited by anti-B1 antibodies. Comparable inhibition of B cell activation was noted with antibodies reactive with class II antigens of the major histocompatibility complex with the exception that anti-B1 antibody inhibited immunoglobulin secretion in pokeweed mitogen assays, whereas anti-DR antibody did not. These results suggest that the B1 molecule may serve a central role in the regulation of B cell activation and differentiation.

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