Klebsiella pneumoniae K43 cell membrane preparations (Klebs M) have been characterized previously as a human polyclonal B cell activator (PBA) that stimulates purified B cells to differentiate into immunoglobulin (Ig) secreting cells with negligible prior or parallel proliferation and in the absence of T cells. The aim of the present study was to define the cellular interactions in the regulation of Klebs M induced B-cell differentiation. For this purpose OKT4+ and OKT8+ cell populations were negatively selected with reasonable purity by means of a panning technique or by complement-mediated cytolysis using monoclonal OKT4 and OKT8 antibodies. The resulting cell populations were added to purified autologous B cells exposed to Klebs M or, as a control, pokeweed mitogen (PWM). In the Klebs M system both the OKT4+ and the OKT8+ cell subsets markedly enhanced IgM production; however, the helper effect of the OKT4+ cell subset was much more intense than that of the OKT8+ subset. In the PWM system only the OKT4+ cells provided help for B-cell differentiation. The OKT8+ subset demonstrated suppressor activity in the presence of an adequate helper cell (OKT4+ subset) function. These results indicate that Klebs M behaves like a "relatively T cell-independent PBA".
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)