B Cells as MHC Restricted Antigen Presenting Cells: A Model for T-B Interaction

  • Howard M. Grey
  • Robert W. Chesnut


There is considerable evidence to indicate that antigen-specific T helper cells and B cells recognize the same antigen in quite different ways. For instance, native and denatured forms of the same protein are highly cross-reactive antigens as recognized by helper and proliferating T cells, whereas they are completely noncrossreactive at the B cell level1–3, Furthermore, although B cells can readily be shown to bind conventional soluble antigens4, helper T cells cannot5,6; however, after antigen processing by syngeneic Ia-positive macrophages, antigen-dependent binding of helper T cells to macrophages has been demonstrated7,8. Data such as these have led to the postulation that B cells recognize intact, unprocessed antigen, whereas helper T cells recognize processed antigen presented in the context of macrophage Ia antigens. This postulation presents some difficulties for how T-B collaboration works, especially if antigen is important in bridging the 2 cells types as has been proposed in the hapten-carrier system first described by Mitchison9. A mechanism of T-B collaboration via antigen bridging has been postulated10 which involves the processing of antigen by antigen-specific B cells and subsequent presentation of the antigen, in the context of the B cell IA, to antigen-specific helper T cells.


Accessory Cell Denature Form Relative Inefficiency Conventional Antigen Rabbit Gamma Globulin 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard M. Grey
    • 1
  • Robert W. Chesnut
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, National Jewish Hospital and Research Center/National Asthma Center and Departments of Pathology and MedicineUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA

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