The Role of Receptor Immunoglogulin in Antigen-Specific, MHC-Restricted T Cell/B Cell Cooperation
Clonal selection theory assigns a central role to membrane Ig in determining the specificity of the antibody response. However, the combination of antigen with membrane Ig is insufficient to induce resting B cell to produce a clone of antibody secreting cells; for the antibody response to soluble protein antigens, the same molecule of antigen needs to be recognized by an antigen-specific helper T cell. We share Howard Grey’s perspective presented earlier that B cells get help by acting as very efficient antigen-presenting cells (APC) for antigens that bind to membrane Ig, and that recognition of the same molecule by B cells and T cells is sequential rather than simultaneous. This scheme (Figure 1) explains MHC-restriction of T cell/B cell cooperation, as well as the ability of T cells, which see processed antigen and tend to cross-react extensively on denatured proteins or peptides, to help B cells make antibodies which can be exquisitely sensitive to protein conformation.
KeywordsMajor Histocompatibility Complex Antigen Presentation Major Histocompatibility Complex Allele Bystander Cell Antibody Secreting Cell
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