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The generation of memory B-cell subpopulations capable of proliferation and expansion of the pool: Effect of time and antigen

Cellular Immunology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0008-8749(80)90293-2


Abstract The ability of antigen to induce proliferation of memory B lymphocytes, thus perpetuating and expanding the memory cell pool, has been examined using an antibody-forming cell (AFC) assay. This method provided confirmation of previous studies in which serum antibody titer was used as a relative measure of pool size and demonstrated directly that the number of antibody-forming cells is increased. Memory cell subpopulations were prepared by lg velocity sedimentation from recently immunized donors (2 weeks) and tested for their ability to proliferate, thus expanding the memory cell pool. Both large and small immature DNP-specific memory cells displayed antigen-dependent and antigen-independent proliferation while mature cells (8 weeks postpriming) were capable only of antigen-dependent proliferation. Chicken γ-globulin (CGG) specific memory cells were also evaluated in this system and were found to differ from DNP-specific cells in several ways. (A) DNP-specific AFC were found to be concentrated in the spleen while CGG-specific AFC were found predominantly in the bone marrow early after transfer and in the spleen upon delayed challenge. (B) The rate of maturation of CGG-specific memory cells capable of antigen-driven proliferation and pool expansion was delayed in comparison to DNP-specific memory cells. The relationship of these functionally defined subsets to previously described memory cell subpopulations is discussed.

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