B-cell activation by crosslinking of surface IgM or ligation of CD40 involves alternative signal pathways and results in different B-cell phenotypes

Henry H. Wortis, Mark Teutsch, Mindy Higer, Jenny Zheng, David C. Parker

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Treatment of small resting B cells with soluble F(ab')2 fragments of anti-IgM, an analogue of T-independent type 2 antigens, induced activation characterized by proliferation and the expression of surface CD5. In contrast, B cells induced to proliferate in response to thymus-dependent inductive signals provided by either fixed activated T-helper 2 cells or soluble CD40 ligand-CD8 (CD40L) recombinant protein displayed elevated levels of CD23 (Fc(ε)II receptor) and no surface CD5. Treatment with anti-IgM and CD40L induced higher levels of proliferation and generated a single population of B cells coexpressing minimal amounts of CD5 and only a slight elevation of CD23. Anti-IgM- but not CD40L-mediated activation was highly sensitive to inhibition by cyclosporin A and FK520. Sp-cAMPS, an analogue of cAMP, augmented CD40L and suppressed surface IgM-mediated activation. Taken together these results are interpreted to mean that there is a single population of small resting B cells that can respond to either T-independent type 2 (surface IgM)- or T-dependent (CD40)-mediated activation. In response to different intracellular signals these cells are induced to enter alternative differentiation pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3348-3352
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 11 1995


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