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Eur J Immunol. 1993 Jan;23(1):77-84.

Antigen and helper T lymphocytes activate B lymphocytes by distinct signaling pathways.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester.


Resting murine B lymphocytes can be induced to proliferate by cross-linking membrane immunoglobulin, the antigen receptor, or by contact with activated helper T lymphocytes in the absence of a signal through membrane immunoglobulin. Little is known about the molecular nature of contact-dependent T cell help. To determine whether helper T cells activate B cells through different signal transduction and second messenger pathways from those used by membrane immunoglobulin, the effects of drugs which block activation of B cells through membrane immunoglobulin were measured on B cell activation by contact with anti-CD3-activated and fixed T helper cells. Cyclosporin A, phorbol esters added at the time of activation, and cAMP agonists all block activation of B cells through membrane immunoglobulin at concentrations at least 100-fold lower than those necessary to block B cell activation by contact with activated Th1 or Th2 helper T cells. Depletion of protein kinase C by pretreatment of B cells with phorbol ester inhibits the proliferative response to anti-immunoglobulin but not the response to contact with activated T cells. The B cell response to lipopolysaccharide is intermediate in sensitivity to cyclosporin A and cAMP agonists, and resembles the response to activated T cells in resistance to phorbol esters and protein kinase C depletion. Various protein kinase inhibitors did not distinguish among these B cell activation pathways, except for the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, herbimycin A, which inhibited anti-immunoglobulin responses at 3- to 5-fold lower concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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