Role of accessory cells in B cell activation. III. Cellular analysis of primary immune response deficits in CBA/N mice: Presence of an accessory cell-B cell interaction defect

H. S. Boswell, M. I. Nerenberg, I. Scher, A. Singer

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The effect of the X-linked CBA/N genetic defect on the ability of mice to generate primary responses to thymic-dependent and thymic-independent antigens was assessed by comparing the ability of abnormal (CBA/N x DBA/2)F1 male mice and normal (D8A/2 x CBA/N)F1 male mice to generate 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl (TNP)-specific plaque-forming cell responses to TNP-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), TNP-conjugated Ficoll (TNP-Ficoll), TNP-Brucella abortus (BA), and TNP-lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The reciprocal F1 combinations used in this study differ genetically only in the origin of their X chromosome, but differ immunologically in that (CBA/N x DNA/2)F1 male mice express all the CNA/N immune abnormalities, whereas (DBA/2 x CBA/N)F1 male mice are immunologically normal. Analysis of thymic-dependent responses to TNP-KLH revealed that abnormal F1 mice were capable of generating primary responses in vivo to high doses of TNP-KLH, but failed to generate responses to suboptimal doses of TNP-KLH that were still immunogenic for normal F1 mice. Furthermore, under limiting in vitro microculture conditions, the abnormal F1 mice failed to generate primary thymic-dependent responses to any dose of TNP-KLH, even though under the identical conditions normal F1 mice consistently responded to a wide antigen dose range. The cellular basis of the failure of abnormal F1 mice to respond in vitro to TNP-KLH was investigated by assaying the ability of purified populations of accessory cells, T cells, and B cells from these mice to function in responses to TNP-KLH. The results of these experiments demonstrated that helper T cells and antigen-presenting accessory cells from abnormal F1 mice were competent and functioned as well as the equivalent cell populations from normal F1 mice. Instead, the failure of CBA/N mice to generate primary in vitro responses to TNP-KLH was solely the result of a defect in their B cell population such that B cells from these mice failed to be triggered by competent helper T cells and/or competent accessory cells. Similarly, the failure of abnormal F1 mice to respond either in vivo or in vitro to TNP-Ficoll was not the result of defective accessory cell presentation of TNP-Ficoll, but was the result of the failure of B cells from these mice to be activated by competent TNP-Ficoll-presenting accessory cells. In contrast to the failure of B cells from abnormal F1 mice to be activated in vitro in response to either TNP-KLH or TNP-Ficoll, B cells from abnormal F1 mice were triggered to respond to TNP-BA and TNP-LPS, antigens that did not require accessory cell presentation. The specific failure of B cells from abnormal F1 mice to be activated in responses that required antigen-presentation by accessory cells suggested the possibility that the X-linked CBA/N genetic defect resulted in B cell populations that might be deficient in their ability to interact with antigen-presenting accessory cells. To further explore this possibility, accessory cells were pulsed with TNP-BA (an antigen to which B cells from abnormal F1 mice responded) and added to culture as TNP-BA-presenting cells. Although B cells from abnormal F1 mice were triggered and responded to TNP-BA free in suspension, the same abnormal B cell populations failed to be triggered by TNP-BA presented by pulsed accessory cells. The results of these experiments suggest that the B cell populations that abnormal CNA/N mice possess fail to be triggered by their interaction with antigen-presenting accessory cells, regardless of the antigen being presented. Indeed, it is possible to explain many of the immune abnormalities observed in CBA/N mice as the result of a single interaction defect between antigen-presenting accessory cells and CBA/N B cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1209
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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