B-Cell Activation Mediated by Interactions with Membranes from Helper T Cells

  • Marilyn R. Kehry
  • Brian E. Castle
  • Philip D. Hodgkin
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 323)


Resting B lymphocytes are small dense cells that express cell surface IgM and IgD. Resting B cells from mouse spleen can be stimulated to proliferate and differentiate to immunoglobulin secretion by the combined action of direct contact with activated helper T (Th) cell clones and lymphokines secreted by Th cells. The mechanism by which this productive interaction of B cells and Th cells is mediated is most likely a multi-step process as outlined in Figure 11. Specific B cells internalize protein antigens, degrade them to peptides and present the peptides on their cell surface in association with class II MHC molecules. This MHC-antigen complex on an antigen presenting B cell is recognized by an antigen-specific Th cell and results in Th cell activation. Surface molecules involved in this interaction are class II MHC, T cell receptor and associated proteins, and adhesion molecules such as LFA-1 and its ligands. Ligation of the T cell receptor complex induces the expression of a set of activation-specific genes that encode secreted lymphokines, proteins that modify existing molecules to potentially modulate their activity, and possibly new cell surface molecules.


Membrane Vesicle Isotype Switching Immunoglobulin Secretion Contact Signal Cognate Interaction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn R. Kehry
    • 1
  • Brian E. Castle
    • 1
  • Philip D. Hodgkin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Molecular BiologyBoehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.RidgefieldUSA
  2. 2.The John Curtin School of Medical ResearchAustralian National UniversityCanberra CityAustralia

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