Send to

Choose Destination
Immunology. 1997 Aug;91(4):572-8.

Modulation of B-cell activation by the B subunit of Escherichia coli enterotoxin: receptor interaction up-regulates MHC class II, B7, CD40, CD25 and ICAM-1.

Author information

School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.


The B subunits of cholera toxin (CtxB) and Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin (EtxB) are non-toxic lectins that bind and cross-link a ubiquitous cell glycolipid receptor, ganglioside GM1, and are recognized as potent mucosal and systemic immunogens. Here we examine the role of EtxB receptor occupancy in modulating the activation of B cells, in vitro, in primary lymphocyte cultures containing B and T cells. When 48-hr spleen cell cultures containing EtxB were compared with those in the presence of a non-receptor binding mutant, EtxB(G33D), a marked shift in the ratio of CD4+ T cells: B cells was noted. Evidence suggested that this was the result of either enhanced survival or proliferation of B cells associated with receptor occupancy by EtxB. Investigation revealed that EtxB induced only a minimal increase in proliferation above that of EtxB(G33D), in mixed cell cultures, and failed to induce any cell division of purified B cells or T cells. In contrast, receptor-binding by EtxB markedly up-regulated the expression of major histocompatability complex (MHC) class II, B7, intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), CD40 and CD25 on the B-cell surface. These results indicate that the polyclonal effects of EtxB on B cells are not associated with wide-scale proliferation, but more likely with maintenance of B-cell survival by activation of molecules essential for B-cell differentiation. The findings also highlight the essential role of GM1-interaction with EtxB in the regulation of lymphocyte responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center