The regulation of the subclass of immunoglobulin secreted by B cells has been studied in vitro in polyclonal systems using mitogens, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), to bypass the requirement for cognate interaction between antigen-specific T and B cells. In these systems, interleukin-(IL)-4 induces the secretion of IgG1, (ref. 1) and IgE (ref. 2); IL-5 enhances the secretion of IgA3,4, and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) enhances the secretion of IgG2a (ref. 5). Clones of murine TH cells can be divided into two subsets, TH1 and TH2 (ref. 6). Both subsets synthesize IL-3 and granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), but only TH1 clones produce IL-2, IFN-γ, and lymphotoxin (LT) and TH2 clones produce IL-4 and IL-5 (ref. 7). We have examined the role of clones of antigen-specific TH1 and TH2 cells in the regulation of the subclasses of IgG antibody secreted by antigen-specific B cells. Our results show that both types of TH cells induce the secretion of IgM and IgG3, whereas clones of TH1 and TH2 cells specifically induce antigen-specific B cells to secrete IgG2a and IgG1, respectively. We also demonstrate that regulation of commitment to the secretion of a particular IgG isotype occurs in two distinct stages: cognate interaction between T and B cells and interaction between T-cell-derived lymphokines and B cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas