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Role of antigen-specific T cell help in the generation of in vivo antibody responses. II. Sustained antigen-specific T cell help is required to induce a specific antibody response


, : Role of antigen-specific T cell help in the generation of in vivo antibody responses. II. Sustained antigen-specific T cell help is required to induce a specific antibody response. Journal of Immunology 149(12): 3845-3850

The injection of mice with a goat or rabbit antibody to mouse IgD stimulates a large polyclonal IgG response, approximately 10% of which is specific for antigenic determinants on the anti-IgD antibody molecule. The large goat IgG (GIgG)-specific antibody response in mice injected with goat antibody to mouse IgD requires that GIgG-specific B cells undergo much greater clonal expansion that B cells specific for other Ag. One possible explanation for the greater clonal expansion of GIgG-specific B cells is that B cells that lack GIgG specificity can only be stimulated with GIgG-specific T help during the relatively short time that anti-IgD binds to, and is processed and presented by, these B cells before they cease to express membrane mIgD. In contrast, GIgG-specific B cells can continue to bind, process, and present GIgG through mIgM after they lose mIgD. To test the hypothesis that extended stimulation with Ag-specific T help is required to generate a specific antibody response, we determined time requirements for Ag-specific T cell help for the development of such a response. Mice were injected with rabbit antibody to mouse IgD plus one or more daily injections of FITC conjugated to a F(ab')-2 fragment of rabbit IgG (FITC-(Fab')-2), which has a short in vivo half-life, and IgG1 anti-FITC antibody production was analyzed. In this system, each additional injection of FITC-F(ab')-2 extends the period during which FITC-specific B cells can process this Ag and present it to rabbit IgG-specific T cells. Each additional injection of FITC-F(ab')-2 stimulated a several-fold increase in IgG1 anti-FITC antibody levels, and injections on 5 consecutive days were required to induce a maximal anti-FITC response. These observations provide evidence that sustained Ag-specific T cell help is required to stimulate the degree of B cell clonal expansion that characterizes a specific antibody response.

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PMID: 1281191


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