Antigen Specific Helper Factors: An Overview after Ten Years

  • Marc Feldmann
  • Alain Fischer
  • Roger James
  • Eric Culbert
  • Mike Cecka
  • Ian Todd
  • Edward Zanders
  • Geoffrey Sunshine
  • David Katz
  • Sirkka Kontiainen


Immunology in the late 1960’s was a time of rapidly changing concepts. The functional dichotomy of T cells and B cells had been enunciated (reviewed Roitt et al., 1969, Greaves et al., 1972), the puzzle of Immune Response genes had been uncovered (Kantor et al., 1963) and receptor antibodies had been visualized on B cells but not T cells (Taylor et al., 1971). The carrier effect had been described and the phenomenon of linked recognition had suggested various molecular models (Mitchison et al., 1970) to account for the mechanism of T cell cooperation (or help). These models, represented in Fig.1, involved a ‘carrier antibody’ derived from the T cell recognizing carrier determinants on the antigen, whose ‘aptenic’ determinants interacted with B cell receptors. This could either occur with direct T-B contact, or indirectly with the ‘carrier antibody’ being released from the T cell. No formal test of the direct contact hypothesis was possible in 1971, and no direct test has yet been performed. However, a test to determine whether effective help could occur without T-B contact was feasible in tissue culture, by separating T cells and B cells by a cell impermeable membrane, which nevertheless permitted macromolecules to pass through.


Helper Cell Accessory Cell Peritoneal Exudate Cell Carrier Effect Keyhole Limpet Haemocyanin 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Feldmann
    • 1
  • Alain Fischer
    • 1
  • Roger James
    • 1
  • Eric Culbert
    • 1
  • Mike Cecka
    • 1
  • Ian Todd
    • 1
  • Edward Zanders
    • 1
  • Geoffrey Sunshine
    • 1
  • David Katz
    • 1
  • Sirkka Kontiainen
    • 2
  1. 1.Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Tumour Immunology Unit Department of ZoologyUniversity CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Bacteriology and ImmunologyUniversity of Helsinki HaartmaninkatuHelsinki, 29Finland

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