Polyclonal B-cell activation by bacteria that induce nonsuppurative sequelae

W. L. Gross*

*Corresponding author for this work


The polyclonal B cell activation (PBA) process induced by Klebsiella pneumoniae K34 (klebs) and Yersinia enterocolitica 03 (yers) was investigated. Both heat-inactivated bacteria and their cell wall biostructures (klebsM, muriene, protein I etc.) stimulate human blood B cells to differentiate into immunoglobulin-secreting cells without prior proliferation and without T cells. Klebs-activated B cells secrete mainly IgM and to a lesser degree IgG (mainly IgG2). The PBA process was regulated by CD4+ cells and monocytes, but not by CD8+ cells. While interleukin 2 is able both to induce proliferation and to enhance differentiation in klebs-activated B cell cultures, the low-molecular-weight B cell growth factor (BCGF) did not lead to a significant amount of 3H-thymidine uptake. In addition, in klebs-activated B cell cultures various anti-polynucleotide autoantibodies and the 16/6 idiotype were detectable. Thus, bacteria that induce nonsuppurative sequelae (e.g. klebs, yers) can use several mechanisms to overcome tolerance in their host.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number3-5
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 11.1989

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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