Polyclonal immunoglobulin secretion by human B lymphocytes exposed to Epstein-Barr virus in vitro

Kirchner, H.; Tosato, G.; Blaese, R.M.; Broder, S.; Magrath, I.T.

Journal of Immunology 122(4): 1310-1313


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1767
PMID: 221572
Accession: 068524610

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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced activation of human peripheral blood lymphocytes was studied by the use of a reverse hemolytic plaque assay (RHPA) for the detection of immunoglobulin[Ig]-producing cells. The results were compared with the effects of pokeweed mitogen (PWM) on the same cell population. Both agents caused the development of Ig-producing cells in cultures of unseparated mononuclear cells. B [bone marrow-derived] cell populations sufficientyl depleted of T [thymus-derived] cells by a variety of techniques to be unresponsive to PWM showed a marked response to EBV. The reactivity of B cells to PWM could be restored by irradiated T cells on reactivity to EBV. The response to EBV in contrast to the PWM response is T cell independent. Lymphocytes secreting IgG, IgA and IgM were found in EBV-stimulated cultures of unseparated mononuclear cells and T cell-depleted cultures, demonstrating that the response in each Ig class is T cell independent in this system. When unseparated cell populations and B cell populations cultured at the same cell concentration were compared, the latter showed a 2- to 5-fold increased reactivity to EBV. This difference might be caused primarily by an enrichment of B cells as was suggested by experiments in which the 2 cell populations were compared at different cell concentrations.