Hapten-specific murine colony-forming B cells. III. Delineation of functional B cell subpopulations grown under different conditions

M. Piper, P. S. Pillai, D. W. Scott

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The influence of anti-immunoglobulin M (IgM) and anti-IgD on the ability of fluorescein (FL)-specific B cells to proliferate in a colony-forming assay, and of their progeny to further differentiate in response to different FL-antigens was studied. Splenic FL-specific B cells were purified on FL-gelatin plates and were then cultured in semisolid agar in the presence or absence of anti-μ, anti-δ, or both. Experiments were performed under conditions of either sheep red blood cell (SRBC)-potentiated or SRBC + lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-potentiated colony growth. The resulting colonies were then tested in secondary filler cell-dependent microcultures for the ability to be triggered by different classes of FL-antigens to yield plaque-forming cells (PFC). Anti-δ inhibited 47% of colony growth under both agar culture conditions. Anti-μ inhibited 55% of colony growth in SRBC + LPS-potentiated agar cultures, and inhibited 72% if only SRBC was present. If anti-δ and anti-μ were added together, inhibition was nearly additive. When anti-Ig-treated colonies were tested for PFC responses against FL-polymerized flagellin (POL), both normal and anti-δ resistant colonies, grown under both agar culture conditions, responded well. Anti-μ resistant colonies were refractory to FL-POL challenge. Only normal or anti-δ resistant colonies grown in SRBC + LPS agar cultures were able to respond well to FL-Ficoll, whereas even normal SRBC-potentiated colonies responded poorly. All except SRBC-potentiated, anti-μ treated colonies were able to respond to nonspecific signals present in cultures containing FL-KLH and activated T cell help. These data suggest that addition of specific anti-Ig antibodies, and variation of agar culture conditions, can select for B cell subpopulations responsive only to certain types of antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-592
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1983


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