Here, there and everywhere: T follicular helper cells on the move.
- Cindy S Ma, Tri Giang Phan
In this report, we describe a novel biologic activity of IL-4 namely, its ability to induce activated human B cells to produce IgM. Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I-activated blasts prepared from high density tonsil B cells were found to secrete IgG and IgM, but no IgE, when cultured in the presence of rIL-4. The differentiating activity of rIL-4 was totally blocked by a neutralizing anti-IL-4 antiserum, therefore demonstrating that the IgG/IgM-inducing activity of rIL-4 was an intrinsic property of IL-4. rIL-4 was only minimally inducing Ig production of blasts prepared from low density B cells, whereas it induced B cell blasts prepared from high density B cells to secrete a high amount of Ig. Delayed additions of the neutralizing anti-IL-4 antiserum demonstrated that a 48-h contact between IL-4 and B cell blasts was required for optimal Ig production. The IL-4-mediated IgG and IgM production was neither suppressed by IFN-gamma nor by anti-CD23 mAb 25, whereas these agents have been shown earlier to inhibit IgE production of enriched B cells cultured in the presence of IL-4. These data indicate that the IgG/IgM-inducing activity of IL-4 is not regulated like the IL-4-induced IgE production by enriched B cells.