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J Exp Med. 1997 Mar 3;185(5):941-51.

Dendritic cells enhance growth and differentiation of CD40-activated B lymphocytes.

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Schering Plough, Laboratory for Immunological Research, Dardilly, France.


After antigen capture, dendritic cells (DC) migrate into T cell-rich areas of secondary lymphoid organs, where they induce T cell activation, that subsequently drives B cell activation. Here, we investigate whether DC, generated in vitro, can directly modulate B cell responses, using CD40L-transfected L cells as surrogate activated T cells. DC, through the production of soluble mediators, stimulated by 3- to 6-fold the proliferation and subsequent recovery of B cells. Furthermore, after CD40 ligation, DC enhanced by 30-300-fold the secretion of IgG and IgA by sIgD- B cells (essentially memory B cells). In the presence of DC, naive sIgD+ B cells produced, in response to interleukin-2, large amounts of IgM. Thus, in addition to activating naive T cells in the extrafollicular areas of secondary lymphoid organs, DC may directly modulate B cell growth and differentiation.

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