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Immunology. 1993 Aug;79(4):580-6.

Differentiation of membrane IgE+ rat B cells into IgE-secreting cells.

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Experimental Immunology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


Rat spleen cells were stimulated with pokeweed mitogen (PWM) and the IgM and IgE responses were assessed. An enrichment of the cell suspension with IgE-bearing cells before stimulation resulted in an increase in the number of IgE-secreting cells. A decrease of the number of IgE-secreting cells was found after depletion of IgE- or IgM-bearing cells, but not those bearing IgD molecules on their membranes, before stimulation. Moreover, the stimulation of membrane IgE on B cells with anti-IgE antibodies was shown to increase the number of IgE-secreting cells after PWM-induced differentiation in vitro. In vivo, it was also observed that a single injection of anti-IgE antibodies can induce the differentiation of IgE-secreting cells. These results demonstrate the presence of IgE(+)-IgM (+)-IgD- B cells in the rat that are responsive to PWM-induced differentiation into IgE-secreting cells. They indicate a pre-commitment of these cells at a stage where they still express IgM on their surface. IgE molecules on the cell membranes play a role in their differentiation.

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