B Lymphocyte Activation the Roles of Receptor Cross-Linkage and BSF-1

  • William E. Paul
  • Junichiro Mizuguchi
  • Michael A. Beaven
  • Peter Hornbeck
  • Wayne Tsang
  • Junichi Ohara
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 213)


Although responses to antigens introduced into an individual for the first time depend upon the small fraction of B lymphocytes which bear receptors capable of binding to epitopes on that antigen. Since antibody must be produced promptly and in sufficient amounts to deal with an infectious agent or a newly emerging malignant cell, B cell proliferation and differentiation are key to the efficient function of the immune system. Immunologists have adopted a working model for control of B lymphocyte growth and antibody responses which is predicated on the recognition that antigens may be divided into two broad classes, those with repetitive epitopes and those which bear but a single representation of any individually epitope. The importance of this distinction follows from the observation that receptor-mediated signalling requires cross-linking of membrane receptors. Since individual B lymphocytes possess receptors all of which have a common binding specificity, those antigens which bear repetitive epitopes will be capable of cross-linking receptors while those which bear but a single copy of an epitope will not. Current work indicates that responses to antigens of the latter type depends on T cell-B cell interactions in which the T cell recognizes antigenic peptides and class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules on the surface of the B cell. This type of interaction is usually referred to as cognate T cell-B cell interaction. Antibody responses to antigens with repetitive epitopes could, in principle, also use this mechanism. However, a second pathway of B cell responses may be utilized for such antigens, which is designated receptor cross-linkage-dependent B cell activation.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule Phorbol Myristate Acetate Phosphatidyl Inositol Inositol Trisphosphate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Paul
    • 1
  • Junichiro Mizuguchi
    • 1
  • Michael A. Beaven
    • 1
  • Peter Hornbeck
    • 1
  • Wayne Tsang
    • 1
  • Junichi Ohara
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology, National Heart, Lung and Blood InstituteNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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